Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

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Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby stockdogranch » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:32 pm

This evening I had my second vaginal prolapse in two weeks, after never having had one in over 15 years. The first I chalked up to maybe heredity, but this one has me concerned that there may be more to follow. These are Dorper and Dorper X ewes. I keep the ram in all the time, and most everyone lambed starting in December, and are now just starting to lamb again. The first one prolapsed the day after she lambed (a single), and she is wearing a retainer and seems to be doing well (yes, she will go down the road). This one tonight does not look that bagged up, and I don't think she is that close to lambing (her last lamb was born 1/10/11). My biggest concern is that there is something nutritionally happening/lacking. We have our rainy season and grazing in winter (November through March or so). So by June 1 I am feeding hay (my sheep have never had grain). I usually buy alfalfa, but this year it was over $300 a ton, and I simply could not afford it, so I bought Bermuda. Is there something lacking in the Bermuda that they need? Something mineral-wise? Most of the other ewes do not look that close to lambing, so I am hoping I can rectify this situation now and prevent more of this. Oh, and I have also had several others lamb with no problem in the past couple of weeks. Any and all help greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
A
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Re: Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby lenajo » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:34 am

The biggest problem with Bermuda is they simply cannot eat enough in volume in late pregnancy to satisfy their nutritional needs. A local producer called me this winter with the same problem. We limited the hay portions to 3 lbs per ewe in the last month of preganancy, added grain and the prolapses stopped.

This was also Dorpers.

Wendy
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Re: Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby stockdogranch » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:03 am

Thanks, Wendy. After talking to Pipestone this morning, I've come to the same conclusion. I will start supplementing today.
Thanks again,
A
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Re: Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby Mona Howard » Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:14 pm

I have Dorpers and haven't had a prolapse yet in mine but I did have one Kathadin ewe prolapse. She was a first timer about 15-16 months old.
I have heard/things several things. My personal belief in my particular ewe was that she was lacking in length, they were on grass hay and grain and the hay feeder was a sort where they could climb with their front feet so all the weight of the lamb was forced backwards. At first she only prolapsed when she
lay down, in a day or two it progressed to all the time. I inserted a spoon and put on the twine harness described in Ron Parker's book. After she lambed and the lamb was weaned she went on the truck. I read/heard somewhere that a lack of selenium and vitamin e will increase the tendency to prolapse. I don't know if this is true or not. Since my experience with this I have selectively bred for length in my ewes so they will have more room for multiples.
I try to have them on grass instead of hay, but that's not always possible. I have heard that dust in the hay will make them cough and the straining will aggravate this tendency. Also I have heard there might be a genetic tendency. I think breeding for length and giving a good mineral to supply the selenium needs has saved me from any repeats. Having said this I expect I'll now see prolapses next lambing. Sigh.............
Mona Howard
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Re: Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby Janet McNally » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:12 am

nutritionally a Selenium/Vit E deficiency, and a calcium deficiency could lead to prolapses. In the health dept the early stages of an abortion storm could lead to prolapses. I've always heard the bulky hay theory, but personally have not experienced prolapses due to too much bulk.

Janet
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Re: Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby stockdogranch » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:03 am

Thanks, everyone. They are now on a ration of less hay, some grain, and a better mineral/salt that will provide more Se. Keeping fingers crossed to see if this all helps. This has been really scary, as I've never had anything like this before,
A
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Re: Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby Janet McNally » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:06 am

you might test your forages to make sure you get the right balance of calcium and phosphorus.

Janet
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Re: Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby lovetree » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:31 pm

Hi Anna!
How are the sheep doing?
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese
NW Wisconsin
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Re: Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby Lana Rowley » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:17 pm

Janet McNally wrote:nutritionally a Selenium/Vit E deficiency, and a calcium deficiency could lead to prolapses. In the health dept the early stages of an abortion storm could lead to prolapses. I've always heard the bulky hay theory, but personally have not experienced prolapses due to too much bulk.

Janet

I would agree with Janet. I think feeding high end alfalfa thru the winter( all my neighbors raise high end hay so that is what is "easiest" for us) caused some prolapse last year. The high end stuff can leach the Calcium i understand. This year only feed the good stuff the last 5 weeks....not one prolapse.
Lana Mockler Rowley
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Re: Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby stockdogranch » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:59 pm

Mary--they seem to be in a "holding" pattern--I tell them every night to keep their parts INSIDE where they belong. So far, no more prolapses. Lana--they are not getting anything near high end hay--not alfalfa--it's bermuda, because that's what I could afford when it was time to buy my load of hay this spring. Meanwhile, they are on a new salt/mineral supplement with a higher selenium content. So far, so good. I'll be removing the retainer from the 1st prolapse (who had lambed the day before she prolapsed) this weekend; the second one hasn't lambed yet, so we'll see what happens with her (soon, I hope).
A
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Re: Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby Lana Rowley » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:36 pm

Anna, i knew your food was different, but it may still be low in ca. Mine leached the ca.... as i understand it.
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Re: Causes of Vaginal Prolapse?

Postby hammond shepherd » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:05 am

Lana Rowley wrote:The high end stuff can leach the Calcium i understand.


The problem isn't a "leaching" of Ca; the problem is a metabolically low level of Ca in the blood combined with an inability to metabolize Ca from the bones and GI tract. As Janet said, the Ca-P ratio needs to be maintained on the ration, and alfalfa tends to be high in Ca and K. The P needs to be adjusted then via the mineral mix.

Dairy cattle have a condition commonly referred to as "milk fever", (although that term is misleading because the animal does not run a fever, but actually experiences a drop in body temp due to a slowing metabolism) where Ca deficiency causes muscle tremors, weakness, and if not treated (IV Ca or the new Ca gels), death. Managing this problem has evolved a lot over the decades, and used to look at limiting Ca. Now dairy farmers are looking at the K levels used to fertilize growing forages, and in the dry cow period (equivalent to the late gestation period in sheep) Na, Cl, and K receive special attention. Some animals are fed anionic salts if needed.

I understand feeding straight alfalfa if it is the most convenient/cheapest forage around; but, from a ration/nutrient requirement standpoint, is it really needed?

Has anyone tried to give some Ca gel to a sheep who is trying to uterine prolapse while she is in the act? Maybe it would be worth a try....
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