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Per-Vaginal Delivery of Calf with Muscular Hypertrophy through Fetotomy in a Murrah Buffalo

Vipin Singh Vikas Sachan Manoj Kumar Yadav Gyanesh Kumar Atul Saxena
Vol 7(3), 186-188

The present case study describes dystocia due to hypertrophied muscle of the calf mainly at cervical and chest region and its successful management through fetotomy in a murrah buffalo.

Keywords : Dystocia Fetotomy Murrah Buffalo Muscular Hypertrophy


The incidence of abnormal calving in buffalo is found between 5.6-12.6% in Murrah, 8.94% in Jaffarabadi and between 4.6 to 5.4% in Surti buffalo (Khan et al., 2009). Double muscling displays an increase in the number of muscle fibre (hyperplasia), and fibre enlargement (hypertrophy) (Swatland and Kieffer 1974). True fetal gigantism occurs as a result of prolonged gestation period (Jiang and Oat, 2011) resulted in higher birth weight than normal calves which results in dystocia and is delivered by traction or fetotomy or cesarean section (Noakes et al., 2001; Pirottin et al., 2005). The present case describes the per-vaginal delivery of a hypertrophied fetus through fetotomy considering the fetal size and diameter of the birth canal avoiding chances of maternal mortality.

Case History and Observations

A full-term six year old Murrah buffalo with frequent straining and restlessness was presented with the history of rupturing of water bag 7 hrs ago without any succession in parturition. Hind portion of the fetus was hanging out of the vulva as it was tried to deliver out by local veterinarian but failed. The general clinical examination of the animal recorded rectal temperature, respiration rate and pulse rate as 39.2°C, 33/ min and 56/min respectively along with pale mucus membrane. Gynaeco-clinical examination revealed the dilated birth canal as well as heavy muscular development on cranial portion especially of neck and shoulder region which caused the compactness of the fetus inside the pelvic inlet causing dystocia.

Treatment and Discussion

As there was an absolute over sizing of a fetal part, under epidural anesthesia right forelimb was fetotomed at the level of shoulder joint after lubrication of birth canal with liquid paraffin. Then foetus was delivered out per-vaginally by forced traction. The animal was stabilized with fluid therapy comprising of Inj. dextrose saline (DNS 5%) and Inj. normal saline (0.9% NS) @ 3 liter each I/V. The dam recovered uneventfully with therapeutic treatment i.e. with I/M administration of Inj. Intacef (3 g), Inj. Melonex (75 mg), Inj. Oxytocin (50 IU) and Bolus Steclin (3 g Intrauterine) for 3 days.

Gross examination of fetal monster revealed a male fetus with abnormal contour due to excess of skeletal musculature in the neck and shoulder regions (Fig. 1) which was the prime hindrance in parturition. There was no marked bulging of temporal regions or eye ball as found by Kumar et al. (2012) but ear pinna were broad while all limbs and hind quarters were apparently normal. In present case there was the hypertrophy of the brachiocephalicus, trapazius, sterno-cephalicus and serratus-cervices muscles. It has been established that deletion mutation in the myostatin or growth and differentiation factor 8(GDF8) gene causes failure of muscle fibre deposition regulation (Bellinge et al., 2005) leading to muscular hypertrophy. Double muscling is an inherited (recessive lethal) anomaly, having hypertrophy of muscles, most prominently in the regions of the proximal fore and hind quarters (Menissier, 1982). It is characterized with reduced fat deposits, light bone, thin skin and large muscles (Robert, 1971).

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Fig.1: Monster showing bilateral muscle hypertrophy of shoulder and chest region

Dystocia due to muscular hypertrophy has already been reported in buffaloes (Kumar et al., 2012; Palanisamy et al., 2012; Prabaharan et al., 2013) quite similar to the present case. Enlargement of unilateral shoulder due to pseudohypertrophy was reported by Ghuman et al. (2012) along with tilting of upper mandible which was not found in the present case. The risk of maternal morbidity as well as mortality due to double muscling calf could be successfully avoided by per-vaginum delivery through fetotomy as done in present case study.


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