Late pregnancy
Commonly seen prior to lambing in older, fatter ewes carrying multiple lambs, some ewes develop a prolapse of the vagina and cervix.
During late pregnancy, hormones are released to soften the reproductive tract. At the same time, abdominal pressure increases due to a full rumen, growing foetuses and lots of internal body fat. These two factors combine to allow the vagina and cervix to be pushed externally. In doing so, the vagina will often kink the opening to the bladder, which continues to fill but cannot empty.
Bearing retainers may help to keep the prolapse in but you will have to closely monitor these animals as they may have trouble lambing on their own. Ewes that have thrown a bearing are likely to do it again on subsequent pregnancies so you may have to think seriously about breeding these animals again.
As a preventative measure, avoid ewes being overfat prior to lambing to minimize the pressure in the abdomen.
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