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Ask Dr. Steven Osborne Your Own Question
Dr. Steven Osborne
Dr. Steven Osborne, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4277
Experience:  20 years of Veterinary Medicine expertise with experience in canine and feline medicine and surgery
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My cow had a calf about 30 hours ago and still has the afterbirth

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My cow had a calf about 30 hours ago and still has the afterbirth hanging out. Is that something to worry about?

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Hi, I'm Dr Steve. In most cases of "retained placenta" in cattle , I have clients wait 72hours before becoming worried. THis allows the attachments from the afterbirth (placenta) to loosen from the uterus and often it will fall out by itself. After 72 hours, if it is still hanging there, I will gently pull it out and I give antibiotics like penicillin ( labelled dose) to prevent infection. After72 hours the placenta will smell really bad and rotten, but that is how it loosens the attachments to the uterus.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

A lot of my clients will call me to remove the placenta mostly because of its smell. Cattle get alon fine , as a rule,with waiting this long. Occasionally there can be a cow that has more of an infection and will possibly stop eating and act lethargic. If a cow acts this way, then the placenta may have to be emoved sooner and she may need antibiotics. If a cow stops eating, and the placenta needs to be removed sooner than 72 hours, it may be best to have your vet do it so the placenta doesn't tear and leave some of t deep in the uterus. I hope this has helped. If it has would you please rate my answer. Thanks for the question and good luck. I will check throughout the weekend to see if you have more questions.

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Hi Doug,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Sugar. How is everything going?

Dr. Steven Osborne