Bovine prolapsed uterus

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Prolapsed uterus in a cow
Prolapsed uterus in a ewe

Prolapsed uterus occurs in cows when the uterus is pushed out of the cow's vulva within the 24 hours following calving. The prolapsed uterus hangs down behind the cow; this can be fatal if not promptly treated, as rupture of major blood vessels may occur.[1]


Veterinary assistance is required to replace the uterus. Prior to the arrival of the veterinarian, the uterus should be wrapped in a clean, moist, warm cloth or towel to protect it, while keeping the cow calm and restrained. The veterinarian will give the cow an epidural anesthetic, or a sedative, prior to replacement of the uterus.[2] In order to prevent recurrence, the uterus must be completely replaced, and turned back the right way all the way to the ends of each horn.[1]


The prognosis is generally favorable if the cow survives having the uterus replaced, and most cows survive into the long term.[1]

Unlike vaginal prolapse, there is no tendency for the condition to reoccur in a future calving.

Differential diagnosis[edit]

Postpartum uterus prolapse must be deferenciated from mostly prepartum vaginal prolapse.

Other species[edit]

Prolapsed uterus also occurs in sheep.


  1. ^ a b c Rees, Gwen (14 January 2016). "Postpartum emergencies in cows". In Practice. 38 (1): 23–31. doi:10.1136/inp.h6407. 
  2. ^ Wapenaar, W.; Griffiths, H.; Lowes, J.; Brennan, M. (March 2011). "Developing evidence-based guidelines using expert opinion for the management of uterine prolapse in cattle". Cattle Practice. 19 (1): 17–21. Retrieved 2017-01-29.