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Acupuncture Treatment of a Sheep with Poor Cervical Dilation at Lambing - Case Study

Posted in Operations @ Dec 17th 2015 - By Eleonora Po, DVM, MRVCS
Acupuncture Treatment Of A Sheep With Poor Cervical Dilation At Lambing

A two year old South Devon ewe, at second lambing, belonging to a South Devon flock, was presented with poor cervical dilation at lambing. The ewe did not have history of dystocia. Gentle manual dilation was performed for forty minutes by the farmer before veterinary intervention was sought.

On examination the patient was not showing any signs of straining or labour. The vulva was normally dilated. Vaginal palpation revealed a thickened cervix with obvious corrugations, presenting an intracervical dilation space of about two centimeters. A diagnosis of poor cervical dilation was made.

Poor cervical dilation is a common problem of the lambing sheep, causing dystocia and reduced lamb survival. Many treatments have been proposed with no confirmed efficacy and a caesarian is often required to deliver the lambs.  Acupuncture has been shown to dilate the cervix and is often used in human obstetrics.  In this case a single acupuncture treatment using points Yao Bai Hui, BL 30 and BL 31-34 was used.  The points were stimulated for 30 minutes.

The cervix started dilating soon after the beginning of the acupuncture treatment. After approximately thirty minutes of needle stimulation and gentle hand massage, the cervix was completely dilated and allowed the delivery of two live lambs. The first was delivered by gentle hand traction and the second was delivered naturally by the ewe soon after.  No other intervention was required and no drugs were administered.  The placenta was passed several hours later.

If you have any questions about this case study or any other acupuncture case study's why not ask them in the comments section below?

About Eleonora

Eleonora Po is an ACVA graduate and completed her IVAS Certification in 2011

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