This article provides information to assist practitioners in the diagnosis, medical, and surgical management of obstructive urolithiasis in miniature pigs. The article focuses primarily on pigs managed as pets because production swine rarely undergo intensive treatment for urolithiasis. As much as possible, the information in this article is based on published literature, but given the limited number of publications addressing obstructive urolithiasis in pigs, some information is based on the authors’ clinical experience. Medical and surgical management of obstructive urolithiasis of pigs is often similar to management in ruminant and small animal species, but differences in swine anatomy, handling, and temperament create unique challenges. Pigs tend to be more difficult to restrain and examine than other livestock and often require heavy sedation or anesthesia to facilitate physical examination and basic diagnostic procedures. Because pigs are monogastrics, some oral treatments used in small animals may be used effectively in pigs. Clinicians should follow AMDUCA and consult the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank prior to extralabel drug use because pet pigs are still considered a major food-producing species in the United States.
A 2-month-old 12.0-kg (26.4-lb) sexually intact male alpaca was evaluated for a 1-week history of progressive forelimb lameness with no known history of trauma.
The cria had toe-touching lameness in the right forelimb with a firm swelling at the distal dorsomedial metacarpal region. Signs of pain were elicited on palpation of the swollen region. There was no associated wound or draining tract. Radiographic examination revealed soft tissue swelling and osteomyelitis of the distal portion of the third metacarpal bone with a possible medial cortical sequestrum.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
The cria was hospitalized and treated with meloxicam (1 mg/kg [0.45 mg/lb], PO, q 72 h) and ceftiofur sodium administered SC (2.2 mg/kg [1 mg/lb], q 12 h for 8 days) and by means of regional limb perfusion (1.25 mg/kg [0.57 mg/lb], IV, q 48 h for 8 days). Lameness and swelling improved, and the cria was discharged from the hospital with meloxicam (1 mg/kg, PO, q 72 h for 2 weeks) and ceftiofur crystalline free acid (1.5 mg/kg [0.68 mg/kg], SC, q 5 d for 2 weeks). At a recheck examination 17 days later, there was radiographic evidence of a well-defined 3.4 × 0.3-cm osseous sequestrum in the distal aspect of the affected third metacarpal bone. The owner declined further treatment and elected to monitor the cria at home. One year later, radiographic examination revealed nearly complete resolution of the sequestrum.
Results for this patient suggested that osseous sequestra in some camelids may resolve following medical treatment without surgical intervention.
This article provides information to help US-based practitioners develop differential diagnoses for, and recognize foreign animal diseases associated with, dermatologic lesions in small ruminants. Sheep and goat pox are currently considered foreign animal diseases (in the United States) and may cause lesions similar to other endemic diseases of small ruminants including orf, ulcerative dermatosis, bluetongue, and dermatophilosis. Any cases involving unusual dermatologic lesions associated with high morbidity and/or mortality warrant reporting to governmental authorities including USDA APHIS or state regulatory veterinarians for herd or flock investigations. Vigilance on the part of livestock veterinarians and small ruminant producers is of paramount importance in preventing the entry and spread of economically devastating foreign animal diseases.
To describe the surgical technique and clinical outcome of small ruminants treated for obstructive urolithiasis using a modified tube cystostomy (MTC) technique.
15 goats and 2 sheep treated with an MTC between March 2018 and February 2023.
Animals were diagnosed with obstructive urolithiasis on the basis of history, physical examination, and ultrasonographic examination. An MTC was performed with sedation and a local block. Postoperative medical management was instituted to help reestablish urethral patency, and Foley catheters were removed after successful urination.
Animals were hospitalized an average of 3 nights (range, 0 to 14 nights). Complications included urine spillage in the abdomen and accidental deflation of the Foley balloon. Six animals were euthanized due to poor prognosis or failure to regain urethral patency. Foley catheters were removed an average of 15.7 days postoperatively in animals that regained urethral patency. Long-term (> 1-month) follow-up was available for 8 animals, with an average postoperative survival time of 19.4 months (range, 1 to 58 months). Four animals were lost to long-term follow-up.
This MTC technique is an effective means of catheterizing the urinary bladder in small ruminants. It can be performed under field conditions and serve as a standalone procedure for providing temporary urine egress. Patient size is limited by the length of the introducer, and an intact, distended urinary bladder and plan for reestablishing urethral patency are important considerations.