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Dystocia Due to Schistosomus reflexus Monster in a Sahiwal Cow: A Case Report

Amit Kumar Gyan Singh V. Arjun Hariom V. K. Jain R. K. Chandolia
Vol 10(1), 84-87

A six-year old pluriparous Sahiwal cow at full term with the history of straining for the last 10 hours was presented to Veterinary Clinical Complex. The case was diagnosed as dystocia due to Schistosoma reflexus based on clinical examination. Successful per-vaginal management of dystocia due to the Schistosomus reflexus monster in a Sahiwal cow is reported here.

Keywords : Cow Dystocia Monster Sahiwal Schistosoma reflexus

Inherited congenital malformations currently exist in all breeds of cattle and propagated as a consequence of specific trait selection. The occurrence of inherited anomalies has become frequent and economically important in some breeds (Whitlock et al., 2010). A variety of malformations responsible for development of specific fetal phenotypes and conjoined twins have been described as sporadic causes of dystocia in cattle (Youngquist and Threlfall, 2007). The incidence of fetal monsters is relatively high in the cow which is generally of the distorted and celosomian types, schistosomus reflexus and perosomus elumbis being the commonest. Schistosoma reflexus is a rare type fetal monstrosity primarily seen in cattle characterized by presence of exposed thoraco-abdominal viscera (Schistosomus) and acute angulation of vertebral column (reflexus) such that tail lies close to the head (Rao et al., 1993). Unless fetotomy or a caesarean section is performed, the cow usually dies. Such occurrences are costly to the cattle industry and farmer because of dead offspring, loss of milk production and cost of fetal extraction (Laughton et al., 2005).

Case History and Clinical Observations

A pluriparous six-year-old Sahiwal cow at full term with the history of straining since last 10 hours was presented to Veterinary Clinical Complex. Clinically, the fetal intestines were protruding out of vulva (Fig.1). Per-vaginal examination revealed cervix fully dilated that facilitated palpation of a normal sized dead Schistosoma reflexus fetus in anterior presentation dorso-sacral position. Thus, the case was diagnosed as dystocia due to Schistosoma reflexus.

                                 Fig.1                                                                       Fig.2

Treatment and Discussion

Since the genital tract was sufficiently relaxed and lubricated, the fetus was delivered per-vaginum after lubrication of birth passage with lukewarm liquid paraffin and epidural anaesthesia (5ml, Lignocaine hydrochloride, 2%). The successful delivery was made by mild traction with hand on the forelimbs along with simultaneous adjustment of the other fetal parts using mutational methods. Subsequently, the after births were pulled out and four boli of Furea were placed intra-uterine. There was absence of any apparent injury to the genital tract of the dam. Parentally, the animal was treated vaginal with antibiotic, analgesic and antihistaminic in prescribed doses. The removed fetus was malformed with marked ventral curvature of spine, lateral bending of fetal body and chest wall exposing abdominal viscera (Fig. 2) and was diagnosed to be a case of true Schistosomus reflexus. Parentally, animal was treated with antibiotic, analgesic, antihistaminic and fluid therapy.

Fetal monster with herniation of abdominal viscera and skeletal defects is described as Schistosomus reflexus ( Dennis and Mayer, 1965). It is most common in cattle and buffaloes (Rao et al., 1993 and Srivastava et al., 1998). The incidence of Schistosomus reflexus ranges from 0.1% (Sloss and Johnston, 1967) to 1.3 % (Knight, 1996) out of which 56.7 % were treated by embryotomy, 25.6% by caesarean section and 3.3% by simple traction and none of the case reported with normal delivery (Newman, 2008). Schistosomus reflexus is a genetic defect affecting embryo and earlier studies suggested that it occurs due to inheritance of autosomal recessive gene having incomplete penetrance into the population (Noakes et al., 2002 and Laughton et al., 2005). However, its definitive aetiology still remains unclear, currently this defect is associated with genetic factors, mutations, chromosomal anomalies, infectious agents, and environmental factors or the combination of all the factors listed (Noakes et al., 2002). Although, small size monster (Schistosomus reflexus) can be delivered through obstetrical procedure such as application of forced traction with plentiful lubrication of birth canal with lubricants (Jana and Jana, 2013). But in those cases where Schistosomus reflexus presents by its extremities and along with ankylosis of joints than it creates excessive fetal diameter and prevent normal delivery (Noakes et al., 2002). Partial fetotomy of the fetal parts is indicated if the spinal curvature is acute and thus preventing passage of the fetus through the birth canal. The malformed fetus is not likely to be pulled by traditional methods and must be removed from the uterus by either fetotomy, mutational methods (Chakraborty et al., 2011) or caesarean section; however, in complicated cases there may be need of C-section for removing fetus safely (Newman, 2008 and Patel et al., 2015).


Present communication reports about mutational approach for relieving dystocia due to Schistosoma reflexus monster in a Sahiwal cow.


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