Using a prolapse harness & retainer

Using a prolapse harness is the most gentle “cure” for a prolapse. If properly fitted it will prevent ewes from straining and pushing the prolapse back out. If prolapses are treated early (when small) our success rate is high.

Prolapses—What we do…

When a ewe prolapses we use both a retainer and a harness (as shown above). After the ewe stops straining (usually within 24 hours), we remove the retainer and loosen the harness a bit.

How does it work?

When a ewe strains, her neck drops and her back arches. This pulls the cross webbing of the harness tighter against the vulva and also pulls the retainer (if one is used) into the ewe. In a few hours the impulse to strain stops.

Although ewes can lamb past a harness, we remove it when lambing.

Step 1. Note that this harness design relies on the tail to keep it “centered”. Insert retainer if you have one.

Step 2. The 2 straps from the harness pass on either side of the udder.

Step 3. The snap buckles make the process less of a struggle. This is the side view of a harness in place.

Note: An animal’s tendency to prolapse has strong genetic links. So it’s good management to cull any ewe that prolapses from the breeding flock before the next breeding season—and do not retain any of her lambs.