In Practice 20:28-34 doi:10.1136/inpract.20.1.28
  • Clinical Practice
  • Farm Animal Practice

Management of ovine vaginal prolapse

  1. Mary Gessert

    Mary Gessert gained her veterinary degree from Purdue University, USA, in 1984. After a period in practice, she joined the Peace Corps and worked in Morocco, during which time she developed an interest in sheep and goat flock health programmes. She subsequently joined Colorado State University and completed a master's degree in small ruminant medicine in 1995. She is currently in practice in northeastern Wisconsin and, together with her husband, runs a commercial sheep operation.


PREPARTUM vaginal prolapse raises major animal welfare and economic concerns, affecting up to 15 per cent of ewes in modern intensively managed lowland sheep flocks in the UK. While some control can be effected by culling ewes which have previously prolapsed, this policy does not address the immediate treatment and management needs of vaginal prolapse cases presented to the veterinary practitioner or (of much greater concern) those cases which receive no veterinary care. This article outlines an approach to the treatment and management of ewes with vaginal prolapse based upon the authors' practical experience, and reasons that the treatment of vaginal prolapse must be considered an act of veterinary surgery, not least for animal welfare reasons. Furthermore, complications associated with vaginal prolapse cannot be dealt with by the shepherd.

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