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Parturition is the normal physiological phenomenon in which female delivers the baby after completion of gestation period but if it is abnormal or difficult or obstructed parturition then it is called dystocia.

Economic Losses by Dystocia:

  • It increases still birth rate

  • It increases the dam mortality rate

  • It decreases the reproductive and productive performance of dam.

  • It decreases the subsequent fertility

  • It increases the risk of diseases during puerperal period

Causes of Dystocia

The problem may be on either mother side or fetal side

Maternal Causes of Dystocia:
There are two factors; expulsive force and birth passage. So problem can be with expulsive force or birth canal.

Uterine Causes:

  • In uterus there may be primary or secondary inertia

  • General weakness or poor body score will lead to lower uterine contraction.

  • Fatty infiltration of liver

  • Systemic illness

  • Hereditary causes as more chances in beef breeds

  • Chemical deficiency e.g. Ca, P

  • Hormonal deficiency

  • Premature birth; weak repulsive force

  • Environmental factor

Birth Canal Causes:

  • Inadequate pelvis or insufficient dilation.

  • Inadequate pelvis is due to early mating, fracture, breed difference, general diseases, poor diet, and bone developmental diseases.

  • Insufficient dilation is due to uterine tortion i.e. partial tortion (90o) or complete torsion (180 o); poor receptor response due to infection or systemic illness; and cervical disease like cervical tumour, cervical cyst, fibrosis, cystocoele, and abscess.

  • Persistent hymen; hymen can hinder expulsion of fetus.

  • Persistant vaginal septum it narrows the passage.


Fetal Causes of Dystokia

  • Oversized fetus due to

  • Breed difference

  • Prolong gestation. In last days of term there is 0.4-0.6 Kg increase in weight per day. It will cause increase in weight of fetus.

  • Development defects in fetus e.g. twins, fused or duplicated

  • fetal ascites i.e. accumulation of fluid in abdominal cavity

  • Fetal anasarca (subcutaneous fluid accumulation, there will be overall swelling)

  • Fetal hydrocephalus (frontal bones become soft due to accumulation of water), delivery is possible by giving incision on forehead and evacuation of fluid and then keep hand on incision so that bones of head do not rupture the vagina because fusion is incomplete.

  • Faulty presentation, position and posture of fetus.

  • Upward, downward and lateral deviation of head

  • Knee flexion (unilateral or bilateral)

  • In posterior presentation (hock flexion)

  • Hip flexion

  • Fetal death

  • Carpal flexion in case of anterior presentation

  • Foot nape (presence of one or both legs on the upper side of head)

  • Rye neck full flexion of neck. More chances in equines

    Copyrights Dr. M Jassar Aftab, All Rights Reserved