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Farm Animal Practice
Caesarean section in the ewe
  1. Mike Thorne

    Mike Thorne graduated from the University of Zimbabwe in 1992. After a short time in mixed practice in Zimbabwe he moved to the UK and spent two years in mixed practice in Shropshire. Between 1997 and 1999 he worked as assistant farm animal physician at the Large Animal Unit at Cambridge veterinary school, during which time he gained his certificate in cattle health and production. He is currently working in mixed practice in Berkshire.

  2. Peter Jackson

    Peter Jackson was, until recently, university physician in the Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge. He now has a part-time appointment in medicine and reproduction at Cambridge.


THE current financial crisis in the farming industry undoubtedly means that fewer sheep suffering from dystocia will be presented for caesarean section, with the risk of compromising the welfare of lambing ewes. Many ewes which ideally require caesarean section are likely to be euthanased rather than presented for surgery. This article discusses the evaluation of the ewe and her unborn lamb(s) with a view to determining the prognosis and the economic aspects of the case. It also describes two alternative techniques by which the operation may be carried out in practice in a humane, and economical, manner.

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