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Maceration of Fetus

It can occur any time. Maceration is defined by fetal death, regression of corpus luteum but abortion fails to occur. It stays in uterus and starts getting putrefied. This is due to infection present in uterus or may be introduced from outside.

The fetus died will be like the threads of tissue. Bacteria destroy all. If it occurs before bone formation then it is reabsorbed, only pus is expelled out. But if it occurs after bone formation, the muscles will be destroyed and bone will remain there. In multiparous animals one fetus may emaciate and others are normal. It is very rare in cattle, mare and sheep. There is generalized fetus emphysema followed by maceration by bacteria. Two factors for maceration are fetal death and open cervix.

Whenever maceration takes place between 4-7 months of gestation, there is increase in temperature, increase in pulse rate, anorexia, low milk production, diarrhoea, straining, and swollen fetus on rectal such case give stilbesterole and dilate cervix and take out fetus.

In long standing maceration there is no increase in temperature, pulse or anorexia. Only chronic, reddish grey watery discharge or mucopurulent discharge passes through vagina. There is very bad odour and threads of pus on tail.  There is gradual weight loss of animal. If gone unnoticed, treatment becomes difficult. Generally feel bones on rectal palpation.

There are about 200 bones in fetus. We cannot give oxytocin because bones are fixed in uterus. In small animals you can remove fetus surgically. If we remove the fetus, animal will not conceive because endometrium has been severely damaged. So better is to slaughter the animal.



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