• salvage;
  • low flank;
  • caesarean;
  • ventrolateral;
  • emphysematous;
  • fetotomy

Obstetrical procedures are common place in dairy practice in the UK, and both fetotomy to allow delivery per vaginum and a standing left paralumbar celiotomy approach for caesarean section are standard techniques. In some clinical presentations, neither of these techniques may be appropriate for a complicated dystocia. In some cases, where a calving has been missed for some days or where a second calf is found to be present some days after the delivery of its twin, euthanasia of the cow may be considered to be the only option available, since without its removal, the putrefaction of the fetus may result in life-threatening toxaemia to the cow. This article describes the use of a ventrolateral (low flank) approach to caesarean section as an alternative option in such a case.