Often it's the result of a mineral deficiency. Have you changed your feeding program in any way, did your feed come from a new source, have you moved your livestock to a new area? In my area, it's common knowledge that we're deficient in selenium and it's been known to cause the same problem.
I agree with wr. We had retained afterbirth problems years ago and found a loose mineral with selenium and we seldom have a problem anymore. We only have a problem with difficult births (twins, breech, etc.).
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