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Nonpathological phalangeal fractures in cattle: 17 cases (2004–2020)

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize clinical findings and outcomes for cattle with nonpathological phalangeal fractures.

ANIMALS

17 cattle with nonpathological phalangeal fractures.

PROCEDURES

Medical records of a teaching hospital were reviewed to identify cattle treated for nonpathological phalangeal fracture between May 2004 and May 2020. Information extracted from the records of study-eligible animals included signalment, history, clinical and diagnostic imaging findings, treatment, and survival to hospital discharge. Long-term outcome was assessed by telephone communication with owners.

RESULTS

9 bulls and 8 heifers or cows (age range, 1 to 7 years) of various breeds and uses were evaluated. Five of the 9 bulls were bucking stock, which were overrepresented in the study population. Seven animals had 8 distal phalanx fractures; 10 animals had 11 proximal phalanx fractures. Eight animals were treated by application of a hoof block on the unaffected adjacent digit, 7 animals were treated with a distal limb (n = 6) or transfixation pin (1) cast in addition to a hoof block, 1 animal was treated with a hoof trim to elevate and alleviate weight bearing on the affected digit, and 1 animal was euthanized immediately after diagnosis. Sixteen animals survived to hospital discharge. Follow-up was obtained for 12 animals, of which 9 returned to functionable use and 3 were culled.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested cattle with a nonpathological phalangeal fracture have a favorable prognosis for return to function following application of a hoof block to the unaffected adjacent digit with or without a distal limb cast.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize clinical findings and outcomes for cattle with nonpathological phalangeal fractures.

ANIMALS

17 cattle with nonpathological phalangeal fractures.

PROCEDURES

Medical records of a teaching hospital were reviewed to identify cattle treated for nonpathological phalangeal fracture between May 2004 and May 2020. Information extracted from the records of study-eligible animals included signalment, history, clinical and diagnostic imaging findings, treatment, and survival to hospital discharge. Long-term outcome was assessed by telephone communication with owners.

RESULTS

9 bulls and 8 heifers or cows (age range, 1 to 7 years) of various breeds and uses were evaluated. Five of the 9 bulls were bucking stock, which were overrepresented in the study population. Seven animals had 8 distal phalanx fractures; 10 animals had 11 proximal phalanx fractures. Eight animals were treated by application of a hoof block on the unaffected adjacent digit, 7 animals were treated with a distal limb (n = 6) or transfixation pin (1) cast in addition to a hoof block, 1 animal was treated with a hoof trim to elevate and alleviate weight bearing on the affected digit, and 1 animal was euthanized immediately after diagnosis. Sixteen animals survived to hospital discharge. Follow-up was obtained for 12 animals, of which 9 returned to functionable use and 3 were culled.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested cattle with a nonpathological phalangeal fracture have a favorable prognosis for return to function following application of a hoof block to the unaffected adjacent digit with or without a distal limb cast.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 165 KB)

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. Williams (natasha.jane.williams@gmail.com)