OBJECTIVE To determine outcomes and complication rates of open reduction and cranial bone plate fixation of fractures involving the distal aspect of the radius and ulna in miniature- and toy-breed dogs.
DESIGN Retrospective case series.
ANIMALS 102 miniature- and toy-breed dogs (105 fractures) weighing ≤ 7 kg (15.4 lb) that had undergone open reduction and cranial bone plate fixation of a fracture involving the distal aspect of the radius and ulna from 2008 through 2015.
PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed and information extracted regarding dog and fracture characteristics, surgical variables, and follow-up examination data (including postoperative complications). Postoperative radiographs were examined for distal fragment size, implant placement, apposition, alignment, and healing stage. A long-term follow-up questionnaire was completed by telephone interview with dog owners at least 6 months after surgery.
RESULTS Mean length of the distal bone fragment in all fractures was 19.2 mm, with a mean distal-to-total radial length ratio of 0.21. At last follow-up examination (typically 6 weeks after surgery), 97 (95%) dogs had no signs of lameness; minor lameness was identified in 5 (5%) dogs. Complications developed in 26 (25%) fractures (23 [22%] minor and 3 [3%] major complications). Sixty-eight of 71 (96%) owners rated the overall and long-term outcome as excellent and 3 (4%) as good; 68 of 71 (96%) dogs reportedly had no signs of residual lameness.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Open reduction and cranial bone plate fixation for the treatment of radius-ulna fractures in miniature- and toy-breed dogs provided an excellent outcome with a low complication rate.
Case Description—A 5-year-old sexually intact male Giant Schnauzer was evaluated because of difficulty breathing and left pelvic limb swelling. Eighteen months previously, the patient had had intermittent left pelvic limb swelling, but the owner declined further testing at that time.
Clinical Findings—Physical examination revealed severe pitting edema of the left pelvic limb and prepuce and muffled heart sounds on thoracic auscultation. Results of thoracic radiography and thoracocentesis were consistent with chylothorax, and CT imaging of the thorax and abdomen revealed a mass involving the whole left sublumbar area.
Treatment and Outcome—In an attempt to treat the chylothorax, pleural omentalization and pericardectomy were performed. Histologic evaluation of several biopsy specimens harvested in the abdominal and thoracic cavities revealed disseminated lymphangiosarcoma. The patient recovered well from surgery, and mitoxantrone chemotherapy was administered. As of 10 months after surgery, the dog was clinically normal except for mild pelvic limb edema.
Clinical Relevance—The combination of clinical signs, multiple imaging features, surgical findings, and histologic examination findings enabled the final diagnosis of lymphangiosarcoma. Clinical management that included medical and surgical treatments and chemotherapy resulted in improved quality of life and extended survival time in a dog with metastatic lymphangiosarcoma.