Sara Roche – West Coast Vets – played a key role in the delivery of triplet calves over the weekend.
The veterinary surgeon arrived on Matt Curran’s farm in Spiddal, Co. Galway to assist with a calving case shortly after 12:30 am on Saturday (August 25th).
Speaking to That’s Farming, Roche said: “On the phone, the farmer gave me a history that the cow was calving, and her waters broke over an hour previously.”
“So, I put on protective gear and gloves and checked the home-bred 8-year-old Charolais cow in the crush.”
“When I put my hand in, I could feel two heads side-by-side and four front feet; the calves were upside down but coming forward.” she added.
Sara – who runs a practice in Bearna, Co. Galway - had to separate the calves and identify the first calf’s front feet.
“Once the calf was in the correct position, I put ropes onto the front feet and with gentle traction, I pulled out the first calf.”
“The calf was massaged to help breath once on the ground; the same process for the second calf was carried out.”
She estimated that the two calves were in the region of 40-50kgs. “I was happy that they were alive and well.” she explained.
“Before we were going to let the cow out of the crush, I said I would just put my hand into the cow to check her in case there was another calf and to my amazement there was.”
The vet explained that the calf was mal-positioned; its head was back and upside down. “I had to use a head rope to get the calf into the canal. Once the position was corrected, I delivered the third calf safely.”
The cow was not scanned; a manual palpation of the uterus was conducted by the veterinary surgeon to verify cow was in-calf. “With this method, you can identify pregnancy but not how many calves cow is carrying,” Sara explained.
Sara assisted the farmer to milk the cow and fed the three Limousin-cross-Charolais calves; two heifers and one bull.
“This was the first set of triplets I ever delivered in calves.”
“I have delivered many twin calves and many sheep triplets, but this was my first set of triplet calves, so, I was very happy and so was the farmer that all is alive and well.”
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