United States. Bureau of Animal Industry.

Special report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding online

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back, and greatly improves the chances of bringing forward the nose.
If, at first, or if now, the lower jaw can be reached, a noose should be
placed around it behind the incisor teeth and traction made upon this
so that the head may continue to be turned, forehead up, toward the
spine and jaws down, thereby continuing to undo the screw like curve
of the neck. If, on the contrary, the nose is dragged upon by a cord
passing over the upper border of the neck, the screw-like twist is
increased and the resistance of the bones and joints of the neck pre-
vents any straightening of the head. As soon as the lower jaw has
been seized by the hand or noose, a repeller (Plate xx, Fig. 7), planted on
the inside of the elbow or shoulder most distant from the head, should
be used to push back the body and turn it in the womb so that the
head may be brought nearer to the outlet. In this way the head can
usually be brought into position and the further course of delivery will
be natural.

But sometimes the lower jaw can not IK; reached with the hand, and
then the orbit or, less desirably, the car, may be availed of. The ear
may be pulled by the hand, and by the aid of the repeller on the other
shoulder the calf may be so turned that the lower jaw maybe reached
and availed of. Better still, a clamp (Plate xvni. Figs. 3 and 4) is firmly
fixed on the ear and pulled by a rope, while the repeller is used on the
opposite shoulder, and the hand of the operator pulls on the lower
border of the neck and lifts it toward the other side. To pull on the
upper border of tl e neck is to increase the spiral twist, while to raise


the lower border is to undo it. If the outer orbit can be reached, the
fingers may be inserted into it so as to employ traction, or a blunt fin-
ger hook (Plate xxi, Fig:. 8) may be used, or a hook with a rope attached,
or. finally, a hook on the end of a long staff. Ther, with the assistance
of the repeller, the body may be so turned and the head advanced that
the lower jaw may be reached and availed of.

In case not even the ears nor orbit can be reached, a cord should be
passed around the neck of the calf as near to the head as possible, and
traction made upon that while the opposite shoulder is pushed toward
the opposite side by the repeller, assisted by the hand dragging on the
lower border of the neck. To aid the hand in passing a rope round the
neck a cord-carrier (Plate xxi, Fig. 5) is in use. It fails, however, to
help us in the most difficult part of the operation, the passing of the
cord down on the deep or farthest side of the neck, and, to remedy this,
I have devised a cord-carrier, furnished with a ring at the end, a joint
6 or 8 inches from the end, and another ring on the handle, close to this
joint. (Plate xx. Fig. 4.) A cord is passed through both rings and a
knot tied on its end, just back of the terminal ring. The instrument,
straightened out, is inserted until it reaches just beyond the upper
border of the neck, when, by dragging on the cord the movable segment
is bent down on the farther side of the neck, and is pushed on until it
can be felt at its lower border. The hand now seizes the knotted end
of the cord beneath the lower border of the neck and pulls it through
while the carrier is withdrawn, the cord sliding through its rings. The
cord, pushed up as near to the head as possible, is furnished with a
running noose by tying the knotted end round the other, or better, the
two ends are twisted around each other so as to give a firm hold on the
neck without dangerously compressing the blood vessels. By pushing
on the opposite shoulder with the repeller, and assisting with the hand
on shoulder, breastbone, or lower border of the neck, such a change of
position will be secured as will speedily bring the head within reach.
Afterward proceed as described above.

These cases are always trying, but it is very rarely necessary to
resort to einbryotomy. When absolutely required first remove one
fore limb, and then, if still unsuccessful, the other, after which the
head can easily be secured. (See Embryotomy, p. 222.)


In this case the face rests upon the spine ; the fore feet appear alone
in the passage, but fail to advance, and on examination the rounded
inferior border of the neck can be felt, extending upward and back-
ward beneath the spine of the dam, and if the calf is not too large the
hand may reach the lower jaw or even the muzzle. (Plate xn, Fig. 5.)

A repeller is planted in the breast and the body of the calf pushed
backward and downward so as to make room and bring the head nearer


to the passage. Or in some cases the body may be pushed back suf-
ficiently by the use of the fore limbs alone. Meanwhile the head is seixed
by the ear or the eye socket, or, if it cau be reached, by the lower jaw,
and pulled downward into position as space is secured for it. If the
hand alone is insufficient the blunt hooks may be inserted in the orbits
or in the angle of the month, or a noose may be placed on the lower
jaw. and by traction the head will be easily advanced. In case of a
large fetus, the head of which is beyond reach, even when traction is
made on the limbs, a rope may be passed around the neck and pulled,
while the breast-bone is pressed downward and backward by the
rcpcller, and soon the change of position will bring the orbit or lower
jaw within reach. With the above position the standing position is
most favorable for success. But if the calf is placed with its back
down toward the udder, and if the head is bent down under the brim
of the pelvis, the best position for the cow is on her back, with her
head downhill.

In neglected cases, with death and putrefaction of the fetus and
dry ness of the passages, it may be necessary to extract in pieces. (See


As an obstacle to parturition, this is rare in cows. It is most likely
to take pl;-e in cows with narrow hip bones, and when the service has
been PKU le 1 y a bull having great breadth across the quarter. The calf,
taking a H er the sire, presents an obstacle to calving in the breadth of its
quarters; and if at the same time the toes and stifles are turned exces-
sively outward and the hocks inward the combined breadth of the hip
bones above and the stifles below may be so great that the pelvis will
not easily admit them. After the fore feet, head, and shoulders have all
d out through the vulva further progress suddenly and unaccount-
ably ceases, and some dragging on the parts already delivered does not
serve to bring away the hind parts. The oiled hand introduced along
the side of the calf will discover the obstacle on the stifle joints turned
directly outward and projecting on each side beyond the bones which
circumscribe laterally the front entrance of the pelvis. The evident
need is to turn the stifles inward, and this may be attempted by the
hand introduced by the side of the calf, which is meanwhile rotated
gently on its own axis to favor the change of position. To correct the
deviation of the hind limb is, however, very diflicnlt, as the limbs them-
selves arc out of reach and can not be used as levers to assist If noth-
ing can be done by pushing back the body of the calf and rotating it,
and by pressure by the hand in the passages, the only resort appears
to be to skin the calf from the shoulder back, cut it in two as far hack
as can be reached, then push the buttocks well forward into the womb
and bring up the hind feet and so deliver.




In this case tlie presentation is apparently a normal anterior one;
fore limbs and head advance naturally and the parturition proceeds
until half the chest has passed through the external passages, when
suddenly progress ceases and no force will secure farther advance. An
examination with oiled hand detects the presence in the passages of
the hind feet and usually the hind legs up to above the hocks. (Plate
xvii, Fig. 1.)

The indications for treatment are to return the hind limbs into the
body of the womb. If they have not advanced too far into the pelvis
this may be done as follows : A rope with running noose is passed over
each hind foot and drawn tight around the lower part of the hock
the ropes are then passed through the two rings in the small end of
the rotating instrument (Plate xx, Fig. 5) which is slid into the pas-
sages until it reaches the hocks, when the ropes, drawn tight, are tied
round the handle of the instrument. Then in the intervals between
the pains the hocks are pushed forcibly back into the womb. If by
this means flexion can be effected in hocks and stifles success will fol-
low ; the hind feet will pass into the womb and clear of the brim of
the pelvis, and the body may now be advanced without hindrance, the
hind limbs falling into place when the hip joints are extended. At the
same time the pressure upon hind limbs must not be relaxed until the
buttocks are engaged in the pelvis, as otherwise the feet may again get
over the brim and arrest the progress of delivery.

When the hind limbs are already so jammed into the pelvis that it is
impossible to return them, the calf must be sacrificed to save the mother.
Cords with running nooses are first put on the two hind feet. The
body must be skinned from the shoulders back as far as can be reached,
and is to be then cut in two, if possible, back of the last rib. The
remainder of the trunk is now pushed back into the body of the womb,
and by traction upon the cords the hind feet are brought up into the
passages, and the extraction will be comparatively easy.


After the bursting of the water bags, though labor pains continue,
no part of the fetus appears at the vulva unless it be the end of the
tail. On examination the buttocks are felt wedged against the spine
at the entrance of the pelvis, and beneath them the bent hock joints
resting on the brim of the pelvis below. (Plate xvii, Fig. 3.) The calf
had been caught by the labor pains while the limb was bent beneath
it, and has been jammed into or against the rim of the pelvis so that
extension of the limb became impossible. With the thigh bent on the
flank, the leg on the thigh, and the shank on the leg, and all at once
wedged into the passage, delivery is practically impossible.


The obvious remedy is to push the croup upward and forward and
extend the hind legs, and in the early stages this can usually be accom-
plished in the cow. A repeller (Plate xx, Fig. 7) is planted across the
thighs and pointed upward toward the spine of the cow, and pushed
forcibly in this direction during the intervals between labor pains.
Meanwhile the oiled hand seizes the shank just below the hock and
uses it as a lever, pushing back the body and drawing forward the foot,
thus effectually seconding the action of the repeller. Soon a distinct
gain is manifest, and as soon as the foot can be reached it is bent back
strongly at the fetlock, held in the palm of the hand and pulled up,
while the repeller, pressing on the buttocks, assists to make room for
it. In this way the foot may be brought safely and easily over the
brim of the pelvis without any risk of laceration of the womb by the
foot. After the foot has been lifted over the brim the whole limb can
be promptly and easily extended. In cases presenting special difficulty
in raising the foot over the brim, help may be had by traction on a rope
passed around in front of the hock, and later still by a rope with a noose
fastened to the pastern. In the worst cases, with the buttocks and
hocks wedged deeply ink) the passages, it may prove difficult or impossi-
ble to push the buttocks back into the abdomen, and in such a case the
extension of the hind limb is practically impossible without mutilation.
In some roomy cows a calf may be dragged through the passages by
ropes attached to the bent hocks, but even when this is possible there
is great risk of laceration of the floor of the vagina by the feet. The
next resort is to cut the hamstring just below the point of the hock and
the tendon on the front of the'limb (flexor metatarsi) just above the
hock, and even the sinews behind the shank bone just below the hock.
This allows the stifle and hock to move independently of each other, the
one undergoing extension without entailing the extension of the other;
it also allows both joints to flex completely, so that the impacted mass
can pass through a narrower channel. If now, by dragging on the
hocks and operating with the repeller on the buttocks, the latter can
be tilted forward sufficiently to allow of the extension of the stifle, the
jam will be at once overcome, and the calf may be extracted with the
hock bent, but the stifle extended. If even this can not be accom-
plished it may now be possible to extract the whole mass with lx>th
hocks and stifles fully bent. To attempt this, traction may bo made on
the rope around the hocks and on a sharp hook (Plate xx, Fig. 2) passed
forward between the thighs and hooked on to the brim of the pelvis.
Everything else failing, the offending limb or limbs may be cut off at
the hip joint and extracted, after which extraction may proceed by
dragging on the remaining limb, or by hooks on the hip bones. Very
little is to be gained by cutting off the limb at the hock, and the stifle
is less accessible tlrin the hip, and amputation at the.stifle gives much
poorer results.



This is an exaggeration of the condition last described., only the hocks
and stifles are fully extended and the whole limb carried forward
beneath the belly. (Plate xvn, Fig. 2.) The water-bags appear and
burst, but nothing presents unless it may be the tail. Examination in
this ease detects the outline of the buttocks with the tail and anus at
its upper part.

The remedy, as in the case last described, consists in pushing the
buttock upward and forward with a repeller, the cow being kept stand-
ing and headed down hil! 7 until the thigh bone can. be reached, and used
as a lever. Its upper end is pushed forward and its lower end raised
until the joints becoming fully flexed, the point of the hock can be raised
above the brim of the pelvis. If necessary a noose may be passed
around the leg as far down toward 1 the hock as possible and pulled on
forcibly, while the hand presses forward strongly on the back of the leg
above. When both hocks have been lodged above the brim of the
pelvis the further procedure is as described under the last heading.

If, however, the case is advanced and the buttocks wedged firmly into
the passages, it may be impossible to safely push it back into- the womb,
and the calf must either be dragged through the passage as it is or the
limbs or pelvis must be cut off. To successfully extract with a breech
presentation, the cow must be large and roomy and the calf not too
large. The first step in this case is to separate the pelvic bones on the
two sides by cutting from before backward, exactly in the median line
below and where the thighs come together above. This may be done
with a strong embryotomy knife, but is most easily accomplished
with the long einbryotonie. (Plate xx, Fig. 3.) The form which I have
designed (Plate xx, Fig. 1), with a short cutting branch jointed to the
in a in stem, is to be preferred, as the short cutting piece may be folded
on the main stem so that its cutting edge will be covered, and it can be
introduced and extracted Avithout danger. This is pushed forward
beneath the calf's belly, and the cutting arm opened and inserted in
front of the brim of the pelvis and pulled forcibly back through the
whole length of the pelvic bones. The divided edges are now made to
overlap each other and the breadth of the haunch is materially reduced.
One end of the cord may then be passed forward by means of a cord-
carrier (Plate xxi, Fig. 5), on the inner side of one thigh until it can be
seized at the stifle by the hand passed forward on the outer side of that
thigh. This end is now pulled back through the vagina, and the other
end passed through the cord-carrier and passed forward on the inner
side of the other thigh until it can be seized at the stifle by the hand
passed forward outside that thigh. This end is drawn back through
the vagina like the first, and is tied around the other so as to form a
running noose. The rope is now drawn through the ring until it forms
a tight loop, encircling the belly just in front of the hind limbs. On this


si roii*,' tract ion can IK- made without interfering with the full flexion of the

limbs on the body, and if the ease is a suitable one, and the body of the

and the passages are both well lubricated with oil or lard, a suc-

;'M! parturition may be accomplished. A less desirable method is to

put a rope round one thigh or a rope round each and drag upon these,

but manifestly the strain is not so directly on the spine, and the limbs

may be somewhat hampered in flexion.

This method being inapplicable, the next resort is to cut off one or
both hind limbs at the hip joint. Free incisions are made on the side
of the haunch so as to expose the hip joint, and the muscles are cut a- way
from the head of the thigh bone down to its narrow neck, around which
a rope is passed and firmly fixed with a running noose. The joint is
now cut into all around, and while traction is made on the cord the
kuife is inserted into the inner side of the joint and the round ligament
severed. The cord may now be dragged upon forcibly, and the muscles
and other parts cut through as they are drawn tense, until finally the
whole meml>er has been extracted. Traction on the rope round the
other thigh will now suffice to extract, in the majority of cases, but if it
should fail the other limb may be cut off in the same manner, and then
hoojcs inserted in front of the brim of the pelvis. or in the openings in
the bones of its floor (obturator foramina) will give sufficient purchase
for extraction. Another method is to insert a knife between the bone
of the rump (sacrum) and the hip bone and sever their connections;
then cut through the joint (symphysis) between the two hip bones in the
median line of the floor of the pelvis, and then with a hook in the open-
ing on the pelvic bones (obturator foramen) to drag upon the limb and
cut the tense soft parts until the limb is freed and extracted.


In this presentation straining may be active, but after the rupture of
the water-bags no progress is made, and the hand introduced will
recognize the back with its row of spinous processes and the springing
ribs at each side pressed against the entrance to the pelvis. (Plate xvn,
Fig. 6.) The presence or absence of the ribs will show whether it is
the region of the chest or the loins. Hy feeling along the line of spines
until the ribs are met with we shall learn that the head lies in that
direction. If, on the contrary, we follow the ribs until they disappear,
and a blank space is succeeded by hip bones, it shows that we .are
approaching the tail. The head may be turned upward, downward,
to the right side or to the left.

The object must be to turn the fetus so that one extremity or the
other can enter the passage, and the choice of which end to bring for-
ward will depend on various considerations. If one end is much nearer
the outlet than the other, that would naturally be selected for extrac-
tion, but if Iwth ends are equidistant the choice would fall on the hind
end, as having only the two limbs to deal with, without any risk of


complication from the head. When the head is turned upward and
forward it will usually be preferable to bring up the hind limb, since,
owing to the drooping of the womb into the abdomen, rotation of the
fetus will usually be easier in that direction, and if successful the
resulting position will be a natural posterior presentation, with the
back of the calf turned toward the rump of the cow. Similarly with
the croup turned upward and forward, that should be pushed on for.
ward, and if the forefeet and head can be secured it will be a natural
anterior presentation with the back of the calf turned upward toward
the rump of the cow.

The womb should* be injected with warm water or oil, and the turn-
ing of the calf will demand the combined action of the repeller and the
hand, but in all such cases the operator has an advantage that the body
of the fetus is wholly within the body of the womb, and therefore mov-
able with comparative ease. Xo part is wedged into the pelvic pas-
sages as a complication. The general principles are the same as in
faulty presentations fore and hind, and no time should be lost in mak-
ing the manipulations necessary to bring the feet into the pelvis, lest
they get in bent or otherwise displaced and add unnecessary complica-

With a transverse direction of the calf, the head being turned to one
side, the pressure must be directed laterally, so that the body will
glide around on one side of the womb, and the extremities when reached
must be promptly seized and broiight into the passages. Sometimes s
fortunate struggle of a live fetus will greatly aid in rectifying tht


In this form the calf lies across the womb with its reached back
turned forward and its belly toward the pelvis. All four feet may be
extended and engaged in the passages, or one or more may be bent on
themselves so as to lie in front of the pelvis. The head, too, may usu-
ally be felt on the right side or the left, and if detected it serves to
identify the exact position of the fetus. The position may further be
decided upon by examination of the feet and limbs. With the limbs
extended the front of the hoofs and the convex aspect of the bent pas-
terns and fetlocks will look toward that flank in which lie the head and
shoulders. On examination still higher the smooth, even outline of the
knee and its bend, looking toward the hind parts, characterize the fore
limb, while the sharp prominence of the point of the hock and the bend
on the opposite side of the joint, looking toward the head, indicate the
hind limb. (Plate xvn, Fig. 5.)

The remedy for this condition is to be sought in repelling into the
womb those limbs that are least eligible for extraction, and bringing
into the passages the most eligible extremities. The most eligible will
usually be those which project farthest into the passages, indicating


the nearer proximity of that end of the calf. An exception may, how-
ever, be made in favor of that extremity which will give the most nat-
ural presentation. Thus if, owing to obliquity in the position of the
fetus, the hind extremities promised a presentation with the back of
the fetus turned down toward the udder, and the anterior extremities
one with the back turned up toward the spine, the latter should be
selected. Again, if the choice for the two extremities is evenly bal-
anced, the hind may be chosen as offering less risk of complication,
there being no head to get displaced.

Treatment. The first step in the treatment is to place a running
noose on each of the four feet, marking those of the fore limbs to dis-
tinguish them from those of the hind. In case it is proposed to bring
the anterior extremities into the passage, a noose should also be placed
en the lower jaw. Then run the ropes attached to the two feet that
are to be pushed back through the ring of a cord-carrier (Plate xxi, Fig.
5). passing the rings down to the feet, and by the aid of the carrier
push them well back into the womb and hold them there. Meanwhile
drag upon the ropes attached to the two other feet so as to bring them
into the passage (or in case of the anterior extremity on the two foot
ropes and the head one). The other feet must be pushed back into the
womb until the body of the calf is fully engaged in the passages.
After this they can no longer find an entrance, but must follow as the
body escapes.


In laying down the above rules for giving assistance in critical cases
of calving it is not intimated that all cases and stages can be success-
fully dealt with. Too often assistance is not sought for many hours or

Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 25 of 56)