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This is the third presentation in a series of webinars on ewe and doe management. This presentation covers parturition.

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  1. 1. SUSAN SCHOENIAN (Shāy-nē-ŭn) Sheep & Goat SpecialistWestern Maryland Research & Education –<br />2011 Ewe and Doe Management Webinar Series<br />Small Ruminant Program<br />
  2. 2. 2011 Ewe and Doe Management Webinar Series<br />Jan 13 I. Late Gestation<br />Jan 20 II. Vaccinations<br />Feb 3 III. Parturition<br />Feb 10 IV. Neonatal Care<br />Feb 17 V. Lactation<br />Feb 24 VI. Weaning<br />
  3. 3. Parturition<br />The act or process of giving birth<br />Lambing and kidding<br />
  4. 4. Know when the babies are due<br />Breeding date <br />Marking harness<br />Rattle paint<br />Hand mating<br />Observation<br />Dates of male introduction and removal.<br />Date(s) of “accidental” exposure.<br /><ul><li>You won’t know if you never remove males or don’t write anything down.</li></ul>One week less than 5 months and I might be pushing out babies. You better be ready!<br />
  5. 5. Shorter<br />Sheep<br />Meat breeds<br />Prolific breeds<br />Female offspring<br />Multiple births<br />Lighter offspring<br />Goats<br />Late-maturing breeds<br />Male offspring<br />Single births<br />Heavier offspring<br />Gestation length Pregnancy lasts 142 to 157 days (avg. 147)<br />Longer<br />It takes more time to make a big boy!<br />
  6. 6. BEHAVIOR<br />Separation<br />Isolation<br />Acting more territorial<br />Restlessness<br />Nervousness<br />Tail twitching<br />Frequent urination<br />Pawing the ground<br />Getting up and down<br />Reduced appetite<br />Udder filling up<br />Engorged teats<br />Vaginal discharge<br />Relaxation of muscles in hip area<br />Belly drops<br />Sides cave in <br />Swollen vulva<br />Signs of approaching parturition<br />PHYSICAL<br />
  7. 7. Preparation<br />The three stages of parturition<br />Expulsion<br />Cleaning<br />
  8. 8. 1) Preparation12 to 24 hours<br />Rhythmic contractions <br />Cervix dilates<br />Fetus positions itself<br />Mucous discharge<br />
  9. 9. Rupture of the water bag<br />Fetus is expelled.<br />Repeated for each offspring<br />Ewe or doe may give birth lying down or standing up.<br />Some females want to be left alone for birthing.<br />2) Expulsion<br />
  10. 10. Normal presentation<br />In the “dive” position<br />Head resting on fore legs<br />Sole of the hooves rests downwards<br />Widest part of the fetus is the hips<br />Backwards (not breech) is also “normal”<br />
  11. 11. Normal time frame**Varies between females**<br />Once forceful straining begins and the water sac breaks, delivery should normally take place within 45 to 60 minutes.<br />Once the front legs are visible, delivery should normally take place within 30 to 45 minutes.<br />Subsequent offspring are normally delivered within 30 minutes of each other.<br />Prolonged delivery beyond these times may indicate birthing difficulty.<br />
  12. 12. When to check for problems<br />If the female has made no progress after 45 to 60 minutes of hard straining (and the water sac has broke).<br />If female has been in distress for 2 or 3 hours without progress, even if nothing is visible at vulva.<br />
  13. 13. How to assist with deliveries<br />Catch and confine female<br />Lay female down<br />Can lay her on her back or hoist her.<br />Wash hands, arms, and female’s vulva<br />Wear gloves or OB sleevesShort fingernails, no rings<br />Apply copious lubricant<br />Lubricant jelly<br />Obstetrical lubricant<br />Bland soap and water<br />Shortening<br />
  14. 14. How to assist with deliveries<br />Examine for dilation of cervix<br />Bunch fingers and thumb into a cone shape to enter<br />She may need more time<br />Determine presentation<br />Correct position<br />Apply traction<br />After care<br />
  15. 15. Tips for assisting with deliveries<br />Be clean<br />Be gentle<br />Be calm<br />Be patient<br />Call veterinarian (or experienced shepherd) if you have not made progress after a half hour.<br />Check for more offspring.<br />Give long-acting antibiotic to prevent uterine infections.<br />
  16. 16. Aftercare – assisted delivery<br />May need to revive baby<br />Clear airway<br />Clear mucous from nose <br />Insert piece of straw or hay into baby’s nose<br />Raise front leg to expand chest cavity<br />Hang baby by hind legs and swing in circle.<br />Blow air into lungs<br />Put baby in front of mom’s nose<br />Have mom lick babies unless she’s too exhausted.<br />
  17. 17. Aftercare – all deliveries<br />Put mom and babies in a small pen together (jug).<br />Clip (if necessary) and disinfect navels<br />Remove wax plug from teat<br />Check milk supply<br />Observe to make sure babies nurse.<br />Let mom take care of her babies.<br />
  18. 18. 3) Cleaning30 to 60 minutes after last offspring is expelled<br />Afterbirth (placenta) is expelled from the body<br />Uterine involution(uterus returns to normal)<br />Complete involution takes more than a month<br />
  19. 19. Placenta (afterbirth)<br />Red, liver-like mass with strawberry-like lumps and whitish cords.<br />Is separate for each offspring.<br />Is usually expelled 30 minutes to 1 hour after last baby is born.<br />
  20. 20. Should you let the female eat the afterbirth?<br />It’s her natural instinct<br />Protection from predators<br />Contains oxytocin<br />Helps with milk let down<br />Uterine involution<br />Some people eat it<br />
  21. 21. NO!Properly dispose of placenta<br />Biosecurity<br />Scrapie is transmitted via infected placenta.<br />Abortive diseases are spread via infected placenta.<br />Sanitation<br />You don’t want to attract wild animals and scavengers.<br />Is highly indigestible<br />USDA APHIS NAHMS, 2003<br />
  22. 22. Things that can go wrong<br />Pregnancy toxemia<br />Milk fever<br />Abortion<br />Vaginal prolapse<br />Dystocia<br />Ringwomb<br />Retained placenta<br />Uterine prolapse<br />Agalactia<br />Rejection<br />
  23. 23. Pregnancy toxemia ketosis, lambing paralysis, twin lamb disease, sleeping sickness<br />What is it?<br />Low blood glucose caused by insufficient intake of energy during late pregnancy and breakdown of fat into toxic ketone bodies.<br />Who’s most susceptible?<br />Females carrying multiple fetuses<br />Fat females<br />Thin females<br />Old females<br />Timid females<br />
  24. 24. Pregnancy toxemia Occurs during final trimester of pregnancy<br />Symptoms<br />Lags behind<br />Depression<br />Neurological symptoms<br />Salivating<br />Rear legs splayed out<br />Lack of appetite<br />Recumbency<br />Death<br />Treatment<br />Oral propylene glycol<br />IV dextrose<br />Other Tx<br />Calcium borogluconate<br />Vitamin B-complex<br />Remove fetuses<br />[Rx] Induce parturition<br />[Vx] Caesarian section<br />If pregnancy toxemia is suspected, you need to evaluate your feeding program.<br />
  25. 25. Milk fever (hypocalcemia)Occurs during late pregnancy or early lactation<br />What is it?<br />Low blood calcium<br />Symptoms<br />Overlap with pregnancy toxemia<br />Treatment<br />Oral calcium<br />Sub-Q calcium<br />IV calcium<br />If milk fever is suspected, you need to evaluate your feeding program.<br />
  26. 26. AbortionEarly termination of a pregnancy<br />Causes<br />Toxins<br />Trauma<br />Unviable offspring<br />Stress<br />Disease<br />Chlamydia (Enzootic)<br />Campylobacter (Vibrio)<br />Toxoplasmosis<br />Salmonella<br />Symptoms<br />Birth of stillborn, weak, or premature babies.<br />Female may be sick for several days before she aborts late in her pregnancy (or not).<br />
  27. 27. AbortionSome level of (non-infectious) abortion is normal<br />Control<br />Isolate aborting ewes<br />Dispose of fetuses, placenta, and fluids.<br />Administer antibiotics to remaining females.<br />Work with diagnostic vet to determine cause.<br />Prevention<br />Aborting females develop immunity<br />Feed or inject antibiotics<br />Vaccinate<br />Control cat population<br />Feed ionophore<br />Young females are most susceptible to infectious causes of abortion.<br />
  28. 28. Vagina prolapse<br />Usually occurs during last month of pregnancy<br />More common in ewes than does<br />Extent of prolapse varies.<br />
  29. 29. Vagina prolapseMany factors have been implicated as possible causes<br />Multiple fetuses<br />Increased rumen fill<br />Poor quality forage<br />Phytoestrogenic forages<br />Short tail docks<br />Gravity<br />Overcrowding<br />Lack of exercise<br />Obesity <br />intra-abdominal fat<br />Previous history<br />40% chance of re-occurring<br />Genetic predisposition<br />Image source: NADIS UK<br />
  30. 30. Vagina prolapseTreatment<br />[Rx] Pain relief<br />Clean vagina<br />[Use mild soap]<br />Replace vagina<br />Keep vagina in <br />Spoon/bearing retainer<br />Prolapse harness<br />Prolapse truss<br />Purse-string suture[must remove sutures before lambing]<br />Parturition usually corrects problem<br />Cull ewe and her offspring<br />
  31. 31. Dystocia (difficult births)<br />Causes<br />Fetal malpresentation<br />Failure of cervix to dilate<br />Incomplete cervical dilation.<br />Fetal-maternal size mismatch<br />Vaginal prolapse<br />
  32. 32. Dystocia<br />Causes/contributing factors<br />Age<br />Young and old<br />Obesity<br />Oversized fetuses<br />Overfeeding<br />Small pelvic area<br />Breeds and males that sire large offspring<br />Lack of exercise<br />Multiple births<br />
  33. 33. Malpresentations – “easy” to correct<br />Elbow lock<br />One leg back<br />Both legs back<br />Swollen head<br /><ul><li>Push lamb or kid slightly back into womb
  34. 34. Cup hoof in your palm
  35. 35. Extend legs
  36. 36. A small baby can be pulled with one leg back
  37. 37. Babies can survive a long time with their head sticking out.Wash head before putting it back inside female</li></li></ul><li>Malpresentations – harder to correct<br />Head back<br />Breech<br />Simultaneous<br />Tight birth<br /><ul><li>Tight - copious lubricant, firm pressure, pull skin over head, extend legs one at a time
  38. 38. Head back - push back, turn head
  39. 39. Breech - deliver backwards, cup fetlocks, extend rear legs forward , deliver quickly
  40. 40. Simultaneous - figure out what belongs to who
  41. 41. “Nasty” problems: dead, deformed, and decomposed babies</li></li></ul><li>RingwombFailure of cervix to dilate (or dilate completely)<br />Cause (mostly unknown)<br />Abortion<br />Premature birth<br />Genotype of fetus<br />Treatment<br />Partial dilation<br />Manually stimulate cervix<br />[Rx] Oxytocin<br />“True” ringwomb<br /><ul><li>[Vx] Caesarian section -></li></li></ul><li>Retained placentafailure to expel afterbirth after 12 to 18 hours <br />Treatment<br />Give a gentle tug.<br />Do not forcibly pull out!<br />Give antibiotics to prevent uterine infection.<br />Calcium borogluconate<br />[Rx] Oxytocin or Prostaglandin (PGF2α) <br />
  42. 42. Retained placentaCauses and contributing factors<br />Abortion<br />Stillbirths<br />Premature birth<br />Uterine infection<br />Difficult/prolonged birth<br />Assisted delivery<br />Dead baby still in uterus<br />Nutritional deficiencies<br />Exhaustion<br />Stress<br />
  43. 43. Prolapsed uterus<br />Uterus is turned inside out and pushed through the birth canal.<br />May occur immediately after parturition or several days later.<br />Is life threatening.<br />Image source: NADIS UK<br />
  44. 44. Prolapsed uterusCauses and predisposing factors<br />Uterine infection<br />Retained placenta<br />Difficult/prolonged birth<br />Assisted delivery<br />Nutritional deficiencies<br />Obesity<br />Genetics<br />Image source: NADIS UK<br />
  45. 45. Prolapsed uterusTreatment<br />Protect uterus (before treatment)<br />[Rx] Epidural <br />Cleanse uterus<br />Sugar may reduce swelling<br />Elevate hindquarters<br />Replace uterus<br />Pour 5 gallons of water into replaced uterus<br />Purse string suture (optional)<br />[Rx] Oxytocin<br />Calcium borogluconate<br />Systemic antibiotics<br />
  46. 46. AgalactiaNo milk (or delayed milk let down)<br />Causes<br />Hormonal<br />Nutritional<br />Difficult birthing<br />Stress<br />Disease<br />Mastitis<br />OPP / CAE<br />Treatment<br />[Rx] Oxytocin<br />Tube feed babies colostrum<br />Cross foster or bottle-feed babies<br />
  47. 47. RejectionWhat causes a ewe or doe to reject one or more of her offspring?<br />“Rookie” mother<br />High-strung mother<br />Over-bonding with first baby<br />Slow arrival of second baby<br />Separation <br />Painful or sensitive udder or teat(s)<br />Baby has sharp teeth<br />Babies got swapped<br />Abandonment<br />She can’t count<br />Racism -><br />
  48. 48. RejectionOptions<br />Put dam in pen with babies.<br />Put baby in front of dam’s nose<br />Try to “fool” dam with different odors<br />Manually hold dam for nursing<br />Put dam in a head stanchion<br />Rear baby(ies) artificially<br />Give away babies<br />
  49. 49. Most ewes and does lamb and kid on their own without any need for assistance or intervention.<br />Don’t be eager to intervene if everything is progressing normally, even if it’s taking longer than the book says.<br />If you have a lot of problems, you need to look at your entire program: feeding, breeding, management, etc.<br />
  50. 50. Thank you for your attention.Questions?<br />Susan<br />Small Ruminant Program<br />