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VIDEO: How a vet carried out a C-section single-handedly during Covid-19

A video of a vet performing a socially-distanced C-section on a cow has gone viral.

Richard Spooner of Pendragon Vets carried out the surgical procedure on a third-calver, sired by a British Blue bull.

Rachel Marston and her husband, Andrew, live on a traditional hill farm in the Eden Valley, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, where they farm both beef cattle and sheep. They work together alongside their daughters; Catherine (19) Abigail (16) and Olivia (10) and Andrew’s parents, Donald & Christine.

Calving case 

Speaking to That’s Farming, Rachel said: “The cow is by a British Blue Bull and was-in calf to a Limousin bull.

“We always keep a close eye on the cows when they are calving and noticed that the cow wasn’t progressing like we would have liked.”

“A quick feel inside the cow and we knew the calf was too big for the pelvis.”

The family called their local vet, Richard Spooner (Pendragon Vets) to perform a C-section. “Without this, both cow and calf risk dying,” she added.

“We had discussed with our vets previously what we would do if we needed a c-section on the farm in the current situation.”

“We agreed to have everything ready for the vet with straw placed 3 metres away from the cow and we stood back fully kitted out with gloves, gown and face masks in case we were needed.”

“The procedure was performed outside in our cattle crush, again to limit the risk to ourselves and our vet.”

“Richard is a very capable vet, even though a single-handed C-section is not common practice, we had every confidence in his ability.”

The vet delivered the Limousin-cross bull calf, and both the dam and her newborn are “doing fine”, according to Rachel.

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