Factors affecting dystocia in cattle

Reprod Domest Anim. 2009 Jun;44(3):540-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2008.01123.x. Epub 2008 Nov 28.


The paper reviews the various factors affecting dystocia in cattle. It is based mainly on the recent studies found in the literature of the subject but refers occasionally to some older papers as well. The factors are grouped into four main categories: direct factors, phenotypic factors related to calf and cow, non-genetic and genetic factors. The first group includes malpresentations and uterine torsion. The second one includes: calf birth weight, multiple calvings, perinatal mortality, cow pelvic area, cow body weight and body condition at calving, gestation length. The non-genetic factors are: cow age and parity, year and season of calving, place of calving, maintenance practises, disorders, calf sex and nutrition. Other non-genetic factors are the level of hormones in the periparturient period, in vitro production of embryos and embryo cloning. Finally, the genotypes of cow, bull and calf, inbreeding, muscular hypertrophy, selection and quantitative trait loci form the fourth group of genetic factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Birth Weight
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases* / etiology
  • Cattle Diseases* / genetics
  • Dystocia / etiology
  • Dystocia / genetics
  • Dystocia / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Labor Presentation
  • Male
  • Parity
  • Perinatal Mortality
  • Phenotype
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Techniques / veterinary
  • Torsion Abnormality
  • Uterine Diseases