CASE DESCRIPTION An 8-year-old Brahman-cross bull was evaluated for left hind limb lameness of 2 months' duration. The lameness was first noticed during a rodeo bucking performance, immediately after the bull appeared to land inappropriately on the affected limb.
CLINICAL FINDINGS Physical examination findings revealed left hind limb lameness, ataxia, and left-sided epaxial muscle atrophy. Palpation per rectum along the lumbar portion of the vertebral column revealed evidence of exostosis of the ventral aspect. High-definition infrared thermal imaging revealed a pattern of reduced skin temperature in the area of the left lumbar and gluteal regions suggestive of a disruption in the sympathetic control of peripheral blood flow. Nuclear scintigraphy revealed a focal area of increased radioisotope uptake on the left ventrolateral aspect of the L2–3 intervertebral joint. A presumptive diagnosis of ventrolateral vertebral spondylosis resulting in spinal nerve impingement was made.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME 200 mg of methylprednisolone was epidurally injected at the site of the lesion, and treatment with polysulfated glycosaminoglycans was initiated (500 mg, IM, every 4 days for 7 treatments, then monthly thereafter). The lameness and ataxia observed in the left hind limb resolved within 1 week after treatment began. Subsequently, the bull was discharged from the hospital and was used successfully for semen collection and live-cover breeding.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Use of thermography for the bull of this report provided additional insight into neurovascular physiologic function that classical imaging modalities are unable to provide and, when combined with nuclear scintigraphy, aided in identifying the most critical lesion in a complex clinical case.
Objective—To determine whether testicular needle
biopsy is detrimental to testicular function in clinically
Animals—6 mixed-breed mature bulls.
Procedure—A randomly selected testicle from each
bull was biopsied with a 14-gauge needle biopsy
instrument. Bulls were then evaluated over a 90-day
period for changes in scrotal temperature and thermal
patterns, ultrasonographic appearance, and quality of
spermatozoa. At the end of the 90-day study, bulls
were castrated, and testicles were examined grossly
Results—Changes were detected in scrotal temperatures
and thermal patterns and in the breeding soundness
examination results during the first 2 weeks of
the study. However, there were no long-term
changes in semen quality over the course of the
experiment. Hyperechoic areas were detected on
ultrasonographic examination and corresponded to
the areas of penetration by the biopsy instrument.
Microscopic lesions that were indicative of testicular
dysfunction were not found.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate
that testicular biopsy is a safe procedure in bulls.
Testicular biopsy could possibly be used to further
examine bulls that have less than satisfactory results
for breeding soundness examinations. (J Am Vet Med