by Dr Rob Churchill, Crookwell Veterinary Hospital, NSW
This is a neat little gadget that’s been around for a very long time. It has been used to repair uterine and vaginal prolapses in cows for more than 40 years but not many rural vets seem to know about it. The pin is a small stainless-steel bar with a wooden ball on each end (approximately 10cm long). A student at our practice described it as looking like a dumbbell for a mouse.
What’s good about it?
The pin comes with an applicator that is a large needle with a hollow centre. Once the uterus or vagina of the cow has been put back in place, three of these pins are placed down the lips of the vulva to stop the uterus from prolapsing again. The wooden balls are screwed onto the ends of the steel bar once it’s in position.
They are very quick to place. The cow has had an epidural so the area is anaesthetised and you just pop in three of these units. The pins hold everything in place beautifully and the cow can still urinate through them. There’s no need for a second visit to remove the pins—the farmer simply unscrews one of the wooden balls, pulls it out and throws it away.
They are a really handy unit, easy to carry, easy to use and quick to place. And, most importantly, they work.
What’s not so good?
If a cow continues to strain, sometimes they can tear the pins out. There is a solution available overseas but I don’t believe it can be purchased in Australia. In
Germany there are metal plates with three holes in them that can be attached to each side of the pin to give it more support.
Where did you get it?
The Bovivet Prolapse Pins are from DLC (www.dlc.com.au).