Placenta retention in the cow: Report of three cases

  • KA Raheem
  • NVS Uchechukwu
  • E Odirichukwu
  • O Onyegbulam
Keywords: Cow, Fertility, Oestrogen, Oxytocin, Placenta, Traction


Retention of placenta is one of the most common postpartum conditions in farm animals associated with infertility when not treated promptly and adequately. In this report, three different cases of placenta retention recently handled at Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria are described. In the first case, the cow had a normal calving but the placenta was not expelled about 20 hours after calving. This was treated  successfully with oxytocin after oestrogen priming of the uterus. The placenta was expelled 6 hours after the oxytocin injection. The second cow had a dystocia with the foetal head stuck and hanging out of vulva for over 12 hours before veterinary consultation. Episiotomy was done to deliver the dead calf and was associated with placenta retention. The case was successfully treated by applying gentle traction on the little stump of the placenta hanging out of the vulva. The third case was  observed in a cattle market in which parturition was induced by stress of  transporting the cow over a long distance. A pendulous weight was hung on the little placenta stump hanging from the vulva. On the following morning, treatment could not be continued as the cow had been sold off. Conditions capable of causing stress should be avoided in pregnant animal. In conclusion, this report has shown that retention of placenta is a frequent clinical phenomenon in cattle and can be  successfully treated with gentle traction and oxytocin administration.

Keywords: Cow, Fertility, Oestrogen, Oxytocin, Placenta, Traction


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2315-6201
print ISSN: 1595-093X