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Pneumothorax in dairy cattle: 30 cases (1990–2003)

Jo Ann SlackDepartment of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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Chet B. ThomasDepartment of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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Simon F. PeekDepartment of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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 BVSc, PhD, DACVIM

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the features, underlying causes, results of diagnostic testing, and treatment of pneumothorax in dairy cattle.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—30 dairy cattle.

Procedure—Medical records of all cattle with a diagnosis of pneumonia were reviewed. For cattle with pneumothorax, information was obtained pertaining to signalment, anamnesis, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. Survival data were compared between cattle with pneumonia with or without pneumothorax.

Results—Pneumothorax was associated with bronchopneumonia in 18 cattle, interstitial pneumonia in 7 cattle, pharyngeal or laryngeal trauma in 3 cattle, and neonatal respiratory distress in 2 calves. Bovine respiratory syncytial virus was the most commonly detected infectious agent. Eighteen of 30 (60%) cattle survived; 8 were euthanatized and 4 died. Survival rate was 81% for cattle with pneumonia without pneumothorax during the same time period. Pneumothorax was a significant risk factor for failure to survive to discharge from the hospital for cattle with underlying chronic bronchopneumonia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pneumothorax in dairy cattle appears to occur most commonly in association with chronic bronchopneumonia. Cattle of both sexes and all ages can be affected. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:732–735)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the features, underlying causes, results of diagnostic testing, and treatment of pneumothorax in dairy cattle.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—30 dairy cattle.

Procedure—Medical records of all cattle with a diagnosis of pneumonia were reviewed. For cattle with pneumothorax, information was obtained pertaining to signalment, anamnesis, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. Survival data were compared between cattle with pneumonia with or without pneumothorax.

Results—Pneumothorax was associated with bronchopneumonia in 18 cattle, interstitial pneumonia in 7 cattle, pharyngeal or laryngeal trauma in 3 cattle, and neonatal respiratory distress in 2 calves. Bovine respiratory syncytial virus was the most commonly detected infectious agent. Eighteen of 30 (60%) cattle survived; 8 were euthanatized and 4 died. Survival rate was 81% for cattle with pneumonia without pneumothorax during the same time period. Pneumothorax was a significant risk factor for failure to survive to discharge from the hospital for cattle with underlying chronic bronchopneumonia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pneumothorax in dairy cattle appears to occur most commonly in association with chronic bronchopneumonia. Cattle of both sexes and all ages can be affected. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:732–735)