Objective—To determine features, outcome, and complications of surgical treatment of camelid tooth root abscesses.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—123 camelids with tooth root abscesses.
Procedures—Signalment, history, teeth involved, surgery performed, ancillary diagnostic tests, and short-term complications were recorded from each medical record. An owner questionnaire was used to obtain long-term (> 1 year) follow-up information.
Results—The most common surgical treatments included tooth extraction (n = 106) and apicoectomy (13). Owners provided follow-up information on 84 animals. Postoperative complications were reported in 42 of 84 animals. The most common complications included reinfection (n = 15), chronic draining tract (14), and osteomyelitis (14). Significantly more camelids that were in good or obese body condition at the time of surgery were alive at the time of follow-up, compared with those with thin body condition at the time of surgery. Camelids with 2 teeth extracted had significantly more complications than those with 1 tooth extracted. Thirty-four of 47 owners reported that they were completely satisfied with the outcome.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Owners of camelids in poor body condition should be forewarned that such animals are at greater risk for complications following dental surgery. Clinicians should recognize that the number of teeth affected was not associated with a poorer outcome.
Objective—To determine in vitro effects of PBSS, milk, and bacteria-contaminated milk (BCM; contaminated by Streptococcus agalactiae) on properties of 3 synthetic absorbable suture materials.
Sample Population—3 types of synthetic absorbable suture materials (poliglecaprone 25, polyglycolic acid, and polydioxanone).
Procedures—Suture materials were tested to determine breaking strength and elasticity before (day 0) and after incubation in 3 media (PBSS, milk, and BCM) for 7, 14, and 21 days. A loop of suture material was elongated at a rate of 60 mm/min until it reached the breaking point. Tensile properties were statistically analyzed among media and incubation times.
Results—Incubation in milk and BCM significantly decreased breaking strength and elasticity of poliglecaprone 25, compared with results for incubation in PBSS. Incubation in BCM significantly decreased tensile properties of polyglycolic acid suture, compared with results for incubation in PBSS and milk. After incubation for 21 days, tensile properties of polydioxanone did not differ significantly among the media but were significantly decreased from values on day 0.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis of this study, poliglecaprone 25 is an inappropriate suture material for use in teat surgery. Polyglycolic acid suture should be avoided in teats of cattle with mastitis. Of the suture materials tested, polydioxanone was best suited for use in teat surgery, as determined on the basis of material testing after incubation in milk, even when the milk was contaminated with bacteria.
Objective—To determine density of corneal endothelial
cells, corneal thickness, and corneal diameters in
normal eyes of llamas and alpacas.
Animals—36 llamas and 20 alpacas.
Procedure—Both eyes were examined in each
camelid. Noncontact specular microscopy was used
to determine density of corneal endothelial cells.
Corneal thickness was measured, using ultrasonographic
pachymetry. Vertical and horizontal corneal
diameters were measured, using Jameson calipers.
Results—Values did not differ significantly between
the right and left eyes from the same camelid. There
was no significant effect of sex on density of corneal
endothelial cells or corneal thickness in either
species. Mean density of endothelial cells was 2,669
cells/mm2 in llamas and 2,275 cells/mm2 in alpacas.
Density of endothelial cells decreased with age in llamas.
Polymegathism was observed frequently in both
species. Mean corneal thickness was 608 µm for llamas
and 595 µm for alpacas. Corneal thickness and
density of endothelial cells were negatively correlated
in llamas. Older (> 36 months old) llamas had significantly
larger horizontal and vertical corneal diameters
than younger llamas, and older alpacas had a significantly
larger vertical corneal diameter than younger
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Density of
corneal endothelial cells is only slightly lower in
camelids than other domestic species. Density of
endothelial cells decreases with age in llamas. Age or
sex does not significantly affect corneal thickness in
normal eyes of llamas and alpacas. Specular
microscopy is useful for determining density of
corneal endothelial cells in normal eyes of camelids.
(Am J Vet Res 2002;63:326–329)
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.
Objective—To quantitatively and qualitatively assess the radiographic appearance of the thorax of clinically normal alpaca crias.
Animals—21 clinically normal alpaca crias.
Procedures—Left-right lateral (LR), right-left lateral (RL), dorsoventral (DV), and ventrodorsal (VD) projections of the thorax were acquired. To account for differences in cria size, measurements of thoracic structures were compared with other anatomic landmarks.
Results—Mean ± SD vertebral heart scale was 9.36 ± 0.65 for LR projections, 9.36 ± 0.59 for RL projections, 8.21 ± 0.51 for DV projections, and 8.65 ± 0.57 for VD projections. Dimensions of the heart were compared with the length of the T3 through T5 vertebral bodies, third to fifth rib distance, and thoracic height and width, which provided additional methods of cardiac evaluation. For RL projections, mean ratio of the right cranial pulmonary artery diameter to the third rib width was 0.41 ± 0.10 and mean ratio of the right cranial pulmonary vein to the third rib width was 0.44 ± 0.10. Caudal lobar pulmonary vessels and the caudal vena cava were difficult to quantitatively assess on DV or VD projections. On lateral projections, the trachea was increased in diameter at the origin of the right cranial lobar bronchus. No qualitative differences were found between LR and RL radiographs. The lungs were generally better inflated on VD projections, with more separation of the heart and diaphragm.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Establishment of radiographic values for alpaca crias should prove useful in assessment of thoracic disease in this species.
CASE DESCRIPTION 3 Angus bulls, aged 2 to 3 years, with severe lameness of 2 to 4 weeks' duration and swelling proximal to the coronary band of the affected limb were evaluated after failing to respond to antimicrobial treatment.
CLINICAL FINDINGS Septic arthritis of a distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) was diagnosed in all 3 bulls on the basis of results of a physical examination, radiographic and ultrasonographic evaluations of the affected foot, and cytologic evaluation of synovial fluid from the affected DIPJ.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME A novel modified abaxial approach was used to resect the infected distal sesamoid bone (navicular bone) and DIPJ of all 3 bulls. A window was created in the abaxial hoof wall that was lateral to and of sufficient size to extract the navicular bone. Following removal of the navicular bone, the DIPJ was debrided and resected and an orthopedic block was applied to the contralateral claw to minimize weight bearing on the infected digit. Two bulls also had a fiberglass cast applied to the affected limb to help immobilize the DIPJ. All 3 bulls recovered without complications, and 2 bulls were no longer lame, whereas the remaining bull was only mildly lame, at 4 to 5 weeks after surgery.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE The modified abaxial approach described for surgical resection of the DIPJ allowed extraction of the infected navicular bone without damage to the digital flexor tendons, something that cannot be achieved with other abaxial approaches. This approach is best used for patients without septic tenosynovitis.