Normally it is not necessary to help a cow with the birthing process but sometimes due to the size of the calf, genetic defects or mal positioning of the calf we need to lend a hand (when a cow is struggling with birthing it is called a dystocia).
The vet will then assess the situation and try to find out what is causing the problem.  Sometimes the calf just needs to be positioned correctly and can then be pulled out by the vet and some helpers.  Sometimes if the calf is too big a caesarean (c-section) needs to be performed.  This is however a last resort as it is a big surgery in a less than ideal environment.  The most common reason for a calf being to big for the birthing canal is if the cow was mated with a bull that is much larger than her or if it is her first time calving.
It is very important to let the vet know immediately if you suspect your cow has a dystocia so that a plan can be made to get the calf our alive.


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