Bovine mummification is an uncommon condition with an incidence of less than 2%.
It occurs after the formation of the placenta and fetal ossification (70 days gestation), usually between 3-8 months of pregnancy.
It is associated with a persistent corpus luteum and a closed cervix, according to Gerard McGovern – a veterinary practitioner - who recently stumbled across a case.
After the death of a fetus, the amniotic and allantoic fluids are resorbed, dehydrating the fetal tissues and membranes, the vet explained.
He shared further details on his Instagram account which has in excess of 25,000 followers.
“A call to a ‘9-month pregnant but recently seen in oestrus’ cow, led to the discovery of this mummified fetus and attached placenta in the vagina.”
“Rectal examination revealed a hard, compact mass in the vagina with no surrounding fluid or placentomes; the fetus was easily removed with a lubricated hand,” he added.
Jersey and Guernsey cattle
McGovern explained that there is a higher incidence of fetal mummification in Jersey and Guernsey cattle as well as cows that have had a similar event in a previous gestation.
[Another case Gerard tended to last year]
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