Protocol of the caesarean section as performed in daily bovine practice in Belgium
Kolkman, I × De Vliegher, S Hoflack, G Van Aert, M Laureyns, J Lips, Dirk de Kruif, A Opsomer, G #
Reproduction in domestic animals vol:42 issue:6 pages:583-589
In the early part of the 20th century, veterinarians began to perform Caesarean section (CS) in cows. At first, it was a final remedy to save the calf and/or the cow in more complicated obstetrical cases. As in Belgium, the Belgian Blue (BB) breed has become the predominant beef breed, CS are currently performed on a routine basis in daily practice. The overwhelming success of the breed is based on its hypermuscularity and exceptional carcass characteristics with high killing out (> 70%). These and other characteristics made the breed popular and newborn animals valuable. Consequently, farmers do not want to take any risk of losing the calf during birth. This, together with the fact that bovine practitioners perform CS successfully on a routine basis, has made CS an elective operation. It is, however, important to remember that CS is still a major abdominal operation and that complications are not uncommon both during and after the operation. To end up with a good success rate, it is very important to follow a high-quality and sterile surgical procedure. The current paper describes the standard protocol by which CS are performed by the veterinarians of the Ambulatory Clinic of the Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics, and Herd Health of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Ghent (Belgium). The aim of the article is to provide a successful protocol as regards CS. We especially focus on those factors which are known to be limiting for the success of the surgery and highlight the most recent recommendations to optimize the outcome of the operation.