OBJECTIVE To describe clinical findings and diagnostic test results and identify potential prognostic indicators for calves with septic arthritis.
DESIGN Retrospective case series.
ANIMALS 64 calves with septic arthritis.
PROCEDURES The medical record database for a veterinary teaching hospital was searched to identify calves ≤ 6 months old that were treated for septic arthritis between 2009 and 2014. Data evaluated included signalment, history, physical examination and diagnostic test results, treatment, and outcome. Descriptive data were generated, and calves were assigned to 2 groups (neonatal [≤ 28 days old] or postneonatal [29 to 180 days old]) on the basis of age at hospital admission for comparison purposes.
RESULTS 64 calves had 92 infected joints; 17 calves had polyarthritis. Carpal joints were most frequently affected followed by the stifle and tarsal joints. Forty-nine bacterial isolates were identified from synovial specimens for 38 calves, and the most commonly identified isolates were catalase-negative Streptococcus spp (n = 14) and Mycoplasma bovis (9). Calves in the neonatal group had a shorter interval between onset of clinical signs and hospitalization and were more likely to have an infected carpal joint than calves in the postneonatal group. Outcome was positive for 35 calves. Synovial fluid total nucleated cell count was positively associated with a positive outcome.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that empirical antimicrobial treatment for calves with septic arthritis should target gram-positive catalase-negative cocci and M bovis and that synovial fluid total nucleated cell count might be a useful prognostic indicator.
CASE DESCRIPTION A 4-hour-old 6.3-kg (13.9-lb) female alpaca cria was evaluated because of severe respiratory distress and difficulty nursing since birth.
CLINICAL FINDINGS The cria had open-mouth breathing and cyanotic membranes, with no airflow evident from either nostril. Supplemental oxygen was delivered, and the patient was anesthetized and intubated orotracheally; a CT evaluation of the head confirmed bilateral membranous obstruction of the nasal cavities, consistent with complete bilateral choanal atresia.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Choanal atresia was treated with an endoscopically assisted balloon-dilation technique, and temporary tracheostomy was performed. Stenosis recurred, requiring revision of the repair and intranasal stent placement 3 days after the first surgery. The tracheostomy tube was removed the next day. Complications during hospitalization included mucoid obstruction of the tracheostomy tube, granulation tissue development in the trachea near the tracheostomy site, mucoid stent obstruction, aspiration pneumonia, and presumed partial failure of passive transfer of immunity. The stents were removed 2 weeks after admission, and the cria was discharged 3 days later. The owner was advised that the animal should not be bred. At last follow-up 3 years later, the alpaca was doing well.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Surgical treatment with a balloon-dilation technique and placement of nasal stents with endoscopic guidance were curative in this neonatal alpaca with bilateral membranous choanal atresia. Computed tomography was useful to determine the nature of the atresia and aid surgical planning. Because a genetic component is likely, owners should be advised to prevent affected animals from breeding.
To describe the clinical and clinicopathologic characteristics, treatment, and outcome for cattle that developed a retroperitoneal abscess (RA) following paralumbar fossa laparotomy (PFL).
32 Holstein cows with RA.
The record database of a veterinary teaching hospital was searched to identify cattle that were treated for an RA between January 1995 and March 2017. Cattle with an RA > 30 cm in diameter located 3.5 cm subjacent to the skin that had undergone a PFL < 3 months before examination for the RA were evaluated. Information extracted from the record of each cow included signalment; physical examination, clinicopathologic, and transabdominal ultrasonographic findings; treatments administered; and outcome. Milk production data were analyzed for the lactations before, during, and after RA treatment.
Common physical examination findings were rumen hypomotility, anorexia, and fever, and common clinicopathologic findings were anemia and neutrophilia. Abdominal palpation per rectum and transabdominal ultrasonography facilitated RA diagnosis and identification of the optimal location for drainage. Thirty of 32 cows underwent surgical drainage of the RA and prolonged administration of systemic antimicrobials. Two cows were euthanized because of concurrent peritonitis, including 1 that underwent surgical RA drainage. Thirty cows were discharged from the hospital alive, and most returned to their previous level of milk production.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Although uncommon, RA should be suspected in cows that develop anorexia and fever within 3 months after PFL. Cows with RA often returned to their previous level of milk production, but treatment was generally prolonged and costly.