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