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A survey of caesarean operations on cattle in general veterinary practice
  1. JH Cattell and
  2. H Dobson
  1. Arun Veterinary Group, Pulborough, West Sussex.


The animal most frequently requiring operation for dystocia in this survey of 133 cases was the Friesian/Holstein heifer. In 38 per cent of cases the reason for surgery was an oversized calf and in 84 per cent the operation was performed on the farm of origin. The majority of the dams were operated on while standing, using a left flank incision, and under paravertebral or field infiltration with local anaesthetic solution. Exteriorisation of the uterus did not appear to be essential except when the calf was dead. Ninety-five per cent of the calves alive in utero and 91 per cent of the dams survived, although 30 per cent of the dams suffered ill-health afterwards. In nine cases neither dam nor calf survived. The fertility indices of those which were rebred were not markedly affected, but milk production was reduced by an estimated 12 per cent of the potential yield.

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