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Case study: the use of a salvage (low flank) caesarean section to remove an emphysematous calf


  • Hollie Dale BVM&S, MRCVS,

    1. Wright and Morten Veterinary Surgeons, The Barn, Holly Tree Farm, Lower Withington, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DT, UK
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  • Edward Hayes BVetMed DBR MRCVS,

    1. Synergy Farm Health, West Hill Barns, Evershot, Dorset, DT2 0LD, UK
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  • Aart de Kruif DVM, PhD, Dr.h.c., Dipl ECAR

    1. Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Professor of Obstetrics, Reproduction and Herd Health Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
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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.