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Subtotal or partial unilateral arytenoidectomy for treatment of arytenoid chondritis in five calves

Sylvain Nichols DVM, MS, DACVS1 and David E. Anderson DVM, MS, DACVS2
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

Abstract

Case Description—5 calves were evaluated for abnormal respiratory noise associated with variable degrees of respiratory distress.

Clinical Findings—Tachypnea and inspiratory dyspnea were detected at initial evaluation in all calves. Endoscopic evaluation of the upper respiratory tract revealed enlarged and immobile arytenoids. Radiographic (n = 3) and computed tomographic (1) evaluation of the laryngeal area revealed images that were indicative of a large soft tissue mass at the level of the arytenoids obstructing the rima glottis. A presumptive diagnosis of arytenoid chondritis was made.

Treatment and Outcome—A tracheostomy tube was placed in all calves. Medical treatment (with antimicrobials and anti-inflammatory drugs) was attempted in 4 calves after initial evaluation. Unilateral arytenoidectomy via a laryngotomy was performed under general anesthesia in all calves. Dysphagia and coughing were the most frequent postoperative complications. Three calves survived at least 6 months after the procedure. One calf died of a perforated abomasal ulcer 3 months after the surgery. Another calf died suddenly 1 month after the surgery of an undetermined cause.

Clinical Relevance—Unilateral arytenoidectomy was a viable surgical treatment for arytenoid chondritis in calves. Further research in a larger number of affected cattle is needed to determine the advantages or disadvantages of this procedure over other surgical techniques.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Nichols' present address is Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, University of Montréal, St-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 2M2, Canada.

Address correspondence to Dr. Nichols.