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Associations between teat injuries and fistula formation in lactating dairy cows treated with surgery

Saeed Azizi DVM, PhD1, Farshid Sarrafzadeh Rezaei DVM, PhD2, Siamak Saifzadeh DVM, PhD3, and Bahram Dalir-Naghadeh DVM, PhD4
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.

Abstract

Objective—To determine associations between rate of fistula formation and parity, lactation period, wound age, wound location, and shape of teat injuries in surgically treated teats in dairy cows.

Study Design—Prospective clinical study.

Animals—106 lactating dairy cows with teat lacerations.

Procedures—Lacerations were classified via shape, location, and age. Associations between potential risk factors and fistula formation were analyzed. Seasonal distribution, type of injured teat, parity, and days in lactation were determined.

Results—Cows with teat injury in their first and second parity had 4.1 times the odds of fistula formation, compared with cows with parity ≥ 3.Teats sutured within 48 to 72 hours of injury had 8.3 times the odds of fistula formation, compared with teats sutured within the first 24 hours. Cows in early lactation stage (first 60 days of lactation) were more susceptible to teat injuries. Occurrence of teat injury was greater at the third, fourth, and fifth parity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Season, parity, and lactation period were associated with prevalence of teat injury in lactating dairy cows in a range system. Neither the type of suture material used nor the suturing technique was associated with effects on healing of the operated full-thickness teat wounds. Factors such as parity and age of the wound can be associated with delay in the healing process, which may result in fistula formation.

Abstract

Objective—To determine associations between rate of fistula formation and parity, lactation period, wound age, wound location, and shape of teat injuries in surgically treated teats in dairy cows.

Study Design—Prospective clinical study.

Animals—106 lactating dairy cows with teat lacerations.

Procedures—Lacerations were classified via shape, location, and age. Associations between potential risk factors and fistula formation were analyzed. Seasonal distribution, type of injured teat, parity, and days in lactation were determined.

Results—Cows with teat injury in their first and second parity had 4.1 times the odds of fistula formation, compared with cows with parity ≥ 3.Teats sutured within 48 to 72 hours of injury had 8.3 times the odds of fistula formation, compared with teats sutured within the first 24 hours. Cows in early lactation stage (first 60 days of lactation) were more susceptible to teat injuries. Occurrence of teat injury was greater at the third, fourth, and fifth parity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Season, parity, and lactation period were associated with prevalence of teat injury in lactating dairy cows in a range system. Neither the type of suture material used nor the suturing technique was associated with effects on healing of the operated full-thickness teat wounds. Factors such as parity and age of the wound can be associated with delay in the healing process, which may result in fistula formation.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Azizi.