Hydropsy is seen in most of the species even in human beings. There
are of two types of hydropsy generally in cattle:
Hydrallantois accounts 90 % of hydropsy conditions. In the last
trimester of pregnancy it mostly occurs but can also occurs after
five months of gestation. There is accumulation of large quantity of
fluid and abdomen becomes extended, enlarged and barrel shaped.
Normally amount of fluid in allontoic cavity is round about 20
liters but in this case 150-260 liters (watery amber fluid or plasma
like fluid) is there. Level of sodium, potassium and creatinin are in greater
amount in this fluid. It is reported that it is associated with the
uterine and placental diseases. It is common in twin pregnancies.
Animal looks to give birth to three calves.
Animal becomes anorectic, dehydrated, and weak. There is difficult
respiration, lack of rumination, constipation, and excessive thirst.
Temperature is normal. There is tachycardia, pulse is increased,
weak and wiry/thin (90-140 per minute). Animal loses condition, sits
down and unable to get up on sternum; animal would struggle to get
up but not able. Repeated tries to get up will dislocate the hip
joint and there may be fracture to femur.
Secondary complications include rectal hernia, rupture to pre-pubic
tendon, musculo-skeletal injury, exertional myopathies. After
delivery there will be metritis and retained placenta.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
this disease if you remove fluid, it will be refilled. Rectal
palpation shows enlarge distended uterus, fluid filled cavity.
Placentome or fetus is not palptable. It is basically uterine
disease with lesser no. of placentome. Prognosis for life and
fertility is poor. So slaughter the animal. If fluid is removed
rapidly, animal goes into shock. If we remove slowly, fluid will
can go for cesarean section but here rapid replenishment of fluid is
needed; full speed two intravascular fluid administrations are applied. It is
challenge to operate.
There are 10 % cases. It is accumulation of fluid in amniotic
cavity. Filling of fluid is slow. So animal does not assume barrel
shape rather gets pear shape. Mostly it occurs in last half of
gestation. About 20-100 liters fluid may accumulate (normally 4-8
liters). Principal reason is genetically, congenitally, defective
fetus. (In Hydrallantois placenta is defective).
defective fetus swallowing is impaired, the fluid may be inhaled in
bronchi and large amount of saliva will be constantly produced.
Abdomen is pear shaped and less tense because of gradual filling.
This condition is more common in cattle, less common in sheep and
not in mare.