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Surgical findings and outcome for dairy cattle with jejunal hemorrhage syndrome: 31 cases (2000–2007)

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

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Elizabeth M. SantschiDepartment of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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Michael A. LiveseyDepartment of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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Mike A. PrichardDepartment of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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Sheila M. McGuirkDepartment of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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Sabrina H. BrountsDepartment of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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Ryland B. Edwards IIIDepartment of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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Abstract

Objective—To describe signalment; surgical findings; short-, medium-, and long-term outcome; and recurrence rate for cattle undergoing celiotomy because of jejunal hemorrhage syndrome (JHS) and to analyze risk factors associated with outcome and recurrence.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—31 dairy cattle with JHS.

Procedures—Medical records were analyzed. Follow-up information was obtained from owners of cattle surviving until discharge.

Results—18 of 31 (58%) cattle undergoing celiotomy survived to initial discharge. Fifteen (48%) and 13 (42%) were alive 6 and 12 months after discharge, respectively. All 5 deaths within 12 months after discharge were attributed to JHS recurrence. Survival time was 12 to 85 months for the 13 long-term survivors. Six of 7 that died > 12 months after celiotomy did so for reasons unrelated to JHS. Recurrence rate among short-term survivors was 7 of 18; 1 of these survived long-term. A significant proportion of affected cattle were Brown Swiss, compared with proportions for other breeds. Manual massage of the bowel to break down clots was associated with a significantly higher short-term survival rate than was en-terectomy or enterotomy. Medium- and long-term survival rate was higher in cattle referred 24 to 48 hours after onset of signs. Length of obstructing blood clots was not associated with outcome. Other factors were not significantly associated with recurrence.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Survival rates were higher than those in other reports. Prompt celiotomy and resolution by use of manual massage were associated with higher survival rates. In this population, JHS recurred in 7 of 18 short-term survivors.

Abstract

Objective—To describe signalment; surgical findings; short-, medium-, and long-term outcome; and recurrence rate for cattle undergoing celiotomy because of jejunal hemorrhage syndrome (JHS) and to analyze risk factors associated with outcome and recurrence.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—31 dairy cattle with JHS.

Procedures—Medical records were analyzed. Follow-up information was obtained from owners of cattle surviving until discharge.

Results—18 of 31 (58%) cattle undergoing celiotomy survived to initial discharge. Fifteen (48%) and 13 (42%) were alive 6 and 12 months after discharge, respectively. All 5 deaths within 12 months after discharge were attributed to JHS recurrence. Survival time was 12 to 85 months for the 13 long-term survivors. Six of 7 that died > 12 months after celiotomy did so for reasons unrelated to JHS. Recurrence rate among short-term survivors was 7 of 18; 1 of these survived long-term. A significant proportion of affected cattle were Brown Swiss, compared with proportions for other breeds. Manual massage of the bowel to break down clots was associated with a significantly higher short-term survival rate than was en-terectomy or enterotomy. Medium- and long-term survival rate was higher in cattle referred 24 to 48 hours after onset of signs. Length of obstructing blood clots was not associated with outcome. Other factors were not significantly associated with recurrence.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Survival rates were higher than those in other reports. Prompt celiotomy and resolution by use of manual massage were associated with higher survival rates. In this population, JHS recurred in 7 of 18 short-term survivors.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Santschi's present address is the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

Dr. Edwards' present address is Fairfield Equine, 32 Barnabas Rd, Newtown, CT 06470.

The authors thank Cindy Fry for assistance in obtaining follow-up data on the cattle.

Address correspondence to Dr. Peek.