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.