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Long-bone fractures in llamas: six cases (1993–1998)

Christopher R. JohnsonDepartment of Large Animal Surgery and Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, McAdory Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849-5522.

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Aubrey N. BairdDepartment of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19384.

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Debra K. BairdDepartment of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19384.

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James G. W. WenzelDepartment of Large Animal Surgery and Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, McAdory Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849-5522.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical and radiographic findings, treatment, and outcome for llamas with long-bone fractures.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—6 llamas.

Procedure—Medical records of llamas admitted between 1993 and 1998 because of long-bone fractures were reviewed. Data collected included age, sex, type of fracture, method of fracture repair, and postoperative complications. The Fisher exact test was used to compare age and sex of the llamas with long-bone fractures with those of the hospital population of llamas. All owners were contacted by telephone to determine perceived postoperative problems and whether the llamas were able to perform as expected.

Results—Mean age was 160.8 days (range, 23 to 365 days). There was 1 male and 5 females. Fractures were more likely to occur in young llamas (≤ 1 year old) than in adults. Five of the fractures were attributed to traumatic episodes. Long bones affected included the tibia (n = 2), radius (2), femur (1), and humerus (1). Internal fixation with lag screws, plating, or both was performed on fractures of all llamas except 1; that llama was treated by use of confinement to a stall. None of the llamas had intraoperative complications, but postoperative complications were reported in 2 llamas. All fractures healed eventually, and clients were pleased with outcomes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Long-bone fractures in llamas are uncommon. Several types of long bone fractures can be successfully repaired by use of internal fixation, resulting in few complications and minimal convalescent time. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1291–1293)

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical and radiographic findings, treatment, and outcome for llamas with long-bone fractures.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—6 llamas.

Procedure—Medical records of llamas admitted between 1993 and 1998 because of long-bone fractures were reviewed. Data collected included age, sex, type of fracture, method of fracture repair, and postoperative complications. The Fisher exact test was used to compare age and sex of the llamas with long-bone fractures with those of the hospital population of llamas. All owners were contacted by telephone to determine perceived postoperative problems and whether the llamas were able to perform as expected.

Results—Mean age was 160.8 days (range, 23 to 365 days). There was 1 male and 5 females. Fractures were more likely to occur in young llamas (≤ 1 year old) than in adults. Five of the fractures were attributed to traumatic episodes. Long bones affected included the tibia (n = 2), radius (2), femur (1), and humerus (1). Internal fixation with lag screws, plating, or both was performed on fractures of all llamas except 1; that llama was treated by use of confinement to a stall. None of the llamas had intraoperative complications, but postoperative complications were reported in 2 llamas. All fractures healed eventually, and clients were pleased with outcomes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Long-bone fractures in llamas are uncommon. Several types of long bone fractures can be successfully repaired by use of internal fixation, resulting in few complications and minimal convalescent time. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1291–1293)