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Proportion of and risk factors for open fractures of the appendicular skeleton in dogs and cats

Ralph P. Millard DVM, MS1 and Hsin-Yi Weng DVM, MPH, PhD2
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
  • | 2 Department of Comparative Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the proportion of and risk factors for open fractures of the appendicular skeleton in dogs and cats that were a result of acute trauma.

Design—Cross-sectional and case-control study.

Animals—84,629 dogs and 26,675 cats.

Procedures—Dogs and cats examined at Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital from January 1993 through February 2013 were identified; the proportion of open fractures was estimated from the medical records. Additionally, all incident cases of open (77 dogs and 33 cats) and closed (469 dogs and 80 cats) fractures between January 1993 and February 2013 and a random sample of nonfracture patients (722 dogs and 330 cats) in 2010 were used to assess risk factors for open appendicular fractures.

Results—Proportion of open fractures for the 20-year period was 0.09% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07% to 0.11%) in dogs and 0.12% (95% CI, 0.09% to 0.17%) in cats. Seventy-seven of 546 (14.1%) and 33 of 113 (29.2%) traumatic fractures were classified as open in dogs and cats, respectively. Comminuted fractures were more likely than other configurations to be open in dogs (OR, 5.9; 95% CI, 2.9 to 12.2) and cats (OR, 3.5; 95% CI, 1.0 to 12.0). Vehicle-related trauma was a significant risk factor for open fractures in dogs (OR, 13.8; 95% CI, 3.1 to 61.8).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The proportion of incident open fractures in dogs and cats was low. Age, body weight, affected bone or bone segment, fracture configuration, and method of trauma were associated with an open fracture.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the proportion of and risk factors for open fractures of the appendicular skeleton in dogs and cats that were a result of acute trauma.

Design—Cross-sectional and case-control study.

Animals—84,629 dogs and 26,675 cats.

Procedures—Dogs and cats examined at Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital from January 1993 through February 2013 were identified; the proportion of open fractures was estimated from the medical records. Additionally, all incident cases of open (77 dogs and 33 cats) and closed (469 dogs and 80 cats) fractures between January 1993 and February 2013 and a random sample of nonfracture patients (722 dogs and 330 cats) in 2010 were used to assess risk factors for open appendicular fractures.

Results—Proportion of open fractures for the 20-year period was 0.09% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07% to 0.11%) in dogs and 0.12% (95% CI, 0.09% to 0.17%) in cats. Seventy-seven of 546 (14.1%) and 33 of 113 (29.2%) traumatic fractures were classified as open in dogs and cats, respectively. Comminuted fractures were more likely than other configurations to be open in dogs (OR, 5.9; 95% CI, 2.9 to 12.2) and cats (OR, 3.5; 95% CI, 1.0 to 12.0). Vehicle-related trauma was a significant risk factor for open fractures in dogs (OR, 13.8; 95% CI, 3.1 to 61.8).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The proportion of incident open fractures in dogs and cats was low. Age, body weight, affected bone or bone segment, fracture configuration, and method of trauma were associated with an open fracture.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Millard's present address is BluePearl Veterinary Partners, 11950 W 110th St, Overland Park, KS 66210.

None of the authors has any financial or personal relationships that could influence or bias the content of this manuscript.

Address correspondence to Dr. Millard (rmdvm@hotmail.com).