Identifying Dystocia


  • Calving usually takes place normally without help.
  • A sticky vaginal discharge is usually seen a day before calving.
  • In older cows the calf is usually delivered 30-50 minutes after the water bag bursts, but may extend up to 2 hours.
  • In heifers calving may take up to 4 hours after the water bag bursts.
  • If calving does not occur within the prescribed time after the water bag bursts, it is known as dystocia.
  • If the head and two front legs appear after the water bag breaks, there is no need to call a vet and calving usually occurs normally.
  • A gentle traction of the calf in a downward arc by holding the front legs may be done in the above situation.
  • Never attempt to pull the calf in any other position other than the one in which both front legs and head are visible (Not even if one front leg and head is visible).
  • In case an abnormal presentation is seen or nothing appears after the water bag bursts, call a veterinarian immediately.
  • Delay in attending will further complicate the situation.



  • Under normal circumstances, an animal should come into heat within 45 days of delivery.
  • It is recommended to breed the animal in the subsequent  oestrus after the first heat or within 60-90 days.
  • If the animal does not come into heat within a period of 60 days post calving, consult a veterinarian.

                                                 Early detection of dystocia may save the calf