Tools of the trade: Rope & Wire Threader Bahlcke Economy


by Dr Meagan Lee, Ovens & Kiewa Veterinary Hospital, Myrtleford, VIC

This tool assists in introducing an embryotomy wire into a cow when a dead calf needs to be cut up. If the calf has its head or leg back and you need to make some room, this threader helps protect the uterus of the cow during the wire introducing process.

What’s good about it

While the majority of our work is with small animals, we also have quite a few farms in the area and are often called out to calvings. Most of the farmers here are quite experienced so if you do get a call, you know it’s going to be a difficult case. In about 20 to 30 per cent of cases, a threader will be needed. It’s always in the car in case I need to use it for a calving.

When introducing the wire into the cow, it’s very easy to cut yourself or the cow as the wire is razor sharp. This threader helps to position the wire around the section you want to cut and pull it out the other side. The wire is threaded into a bulbous end that’s turned and locked into position. It’s a pretty simple tool that safely and securely attaches the cutting wire.

I’ve used other wire introducers where you have to tie the wire to one end. It’s fiddly to tie and you need to wear protective gloves or you can guarantee that you’ll cut your fingers. This version is much more secure and there’s no sharp end poking out that can damage the cow. Its biggest advantage is that it’s not going to cause any unexpected injuries to the cow or yourself.

What’s not so good

It’s a very effective tool that works very well. The only negative is that the bulb is a bit difficult to clean. You just need to take that extra time and do it properly.

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