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Surgical management of dystocia due to ring womb in a Ewe.


Dystocia in sheep can be a resultant of poor maternal conformation, oversized fetus, fetal malpresentation, partial or complete uterine torsion, ring womb and ectopic pregnancy (Hindson and Winter, 2007). Failure of cervix to dilate (ring womb) is a common form of dystocia in sheep and goat (Majeed and Taha, 1989). Ring womb accounts for an incidence of 20-30% of dystocia cases in sheep (Noakes et al., 2009). There are several procedures adopted for treatment of dystocia in ewes that include medical management, correction of fetal maldisposition with traction, caesarean section etc. (Arthur et al., 1996). This paper describes, surgical management of dystocia due to ring womb in a ewe.

History and Clinical Signs

A two years old ewe was presented with a history of dystocia for a few hours with loss of fetal fluids. It was treated prior unsuccessfully with oxytocin and DNS. On clinical examination, the ewe was at term, as denoted by growth of udder, relaxed and oedematous vulva. The ewe was in standing position and showing severe straining (Fig.1). Per vaginal examination revealed dilated cervix about one finger width with no progress in lambing even after medical treatment and hence caesarean section was planned.


Abdomen was prepared for aseptic surgery and animal was controlled in right lateral recumbency. Local analgesia was achieved by infiltration of 2% lignocaine hydrochloride to effect at incision site. Through left paramedian incision, the gravid uterus was exteriorized by following standard procedures. A nick incision was made on the gravid uterus at the least vascular area and extended it towards cornual end. A live foetus was delivered from the uterus (Fig. 2 and 3) and the incision was closed by cushing followed by lembert's pattern using chromic catgut no. 1. The abdominal wound was closed in a routine manner. Post-operatively, the animal was treated with Amoxycillin + Cloxacillin (Intamox (a)) 1g and Meloxicam (Melonex (a)) 5ml for 5 days after following antiseptic dressing with Povidone iodine ointment. Skin sutures were removed on 10th postoperative day and the animal recovered uneventfully.


The etiology of ring womb may be due to lack of release of hormones involved in softening collagen or a lack of response of collagen in cervix to hormonal stimulation (Wu et al., 2004). The ovine cervix is more muscular, fibrous and tightly closed during pregnancy than in domestic animals may cause severe dystocia, if not properly relaxed and dilated (Biarade et al., 2005). The survival rate of lambs delivered through surgery was higher when compared to other treatments for ring womb (Faraidoon and Talib, 2010) which was about 65.2% and 96.3% in kids and dams respectively (Majeed et al., 1992). Caesarean section was reported to be an affective method of treatment for most types of dystocia with safety for both dam and fetus, especially when performed earlier after onset of labour (Majeed et al., 1993) as observed in the present case.


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Biarade H.S, Dagli N.R, Nicole R, Shivani T, Tornpawar K A and Karambele N.R (2005). Successful relieving of dystocia due to incomplete dilatation of cervix by fetotomy in sheep. J. Bombay Vet. Coll. 13: 127.

Faraidoon A.M.AM and Talib G M.A (2010). Treatment of dystocia in Kadai ews in Sulaimani Province. Bas. J. Vet. Res. 9: 36-39.

Hindson J.C and Winter A.C (2007). Genital abnormalities, obstetrical problems and birth injuries. In: Diseases of Sheep, 4th Edn., Blackwell publishers, London, p. 75-80.

Majeed A.F and Taha M.B (1989). Preliminary study on treatment of ring womb in Iraqi goats. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 18:199-203.

Majeed A.F, Taha M.B and Azawi O.I (1992). Caprine Caesarean section. Small Ruminant Res. 9: 93-97.

Majeed A.F, Taha M.B and Azawi O.I (1993). Caesearean section in Iraqi Awasi ewes-a case study. Theriogenology 40: 435-39.

Noakes D.E, Parkinson T.S and England G.C.W (2009). Arthur's Veterinary Reproduction & Obstetrics. 9th Edn., Saunders, Edingberg, London.

Wu W.X, Xiao Hong M.A, Coksaygan T, Chakravarty K, Colling K.V, Rose J and Nathanielsz P.W (2004). Prostaglandin medicates premature delivery in pregnant sheep induced by estradiol at 121 days of gestational age. Endocrinology 145: 1444-1452.

R. Mahesh (1), G. Kamalakar (2) and V. Devi Prasad (3)

Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology College of Veterinary Science Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University (SVVU) Proddatur YSR Kadapa--516360 (Andhra Pradesh)

(1.) Assistant Professor and Corresponding author. E-mail:

(2.) Assistant Professor

(3.) Associate Professor

(a)--Brand of Intas Animal Health, Ahmedabad
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Mahesh, R.; Kamalakar, G.; Prasad, V. Devi
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 1, 2014
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