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  • Author or Editor: Ram C. Purohit x
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CASE DESCRIPTION An 8-year-old Brahman-cross bull was evaluated for left hind limb lameness of 2 months' duration. The lameness was first noticed during a rodeo bucking performance, immediately after the bull appeared to land inappropriately on the affected limb.

CLINICAL FINDINGS Physical examination findings revealed left hind limb lameness, ataxia, and left-sided epaxial muscle atrophy. Palpation per rectum along the lumbar portion of the vertebral column revealed evidence of exostosis of the ventral aspect. High-definition infrared thermal imaging revealed a pattern of reduced skin temperature in the area of the left lumbar and gluteal regions suggestive of a disruption in the sympathetic control of peripheral blood flow. Nuclear scintigraphy revealed a focal area of increased radioisotope uptake on the left ventrolateral aspect of the L2–3 intervertebral joint. A presumptive diagnosis of ventrolateral vertebral spondylosis resulting in spinal nerve impingement was made.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME 200 mg of methylprednisolone was epidurally injected at the site of the lesion, and treatment with polysulfated glycosaminoglycans was initiated (500 mg, IM, every 4 days for 7 treatments, then monthly thereafter). The lameness and ataxia observed in the left hind limb resolved within 1 week after treatment began. Subsequently, the bull was discharged from the hospital and was used successfully for semen collection and live-cover breeding.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Use of thermography for the bull of this report provided additional insight into neurovascular physiologic function that classical imaging modalities are unable to provide and, when combined with nuclear scintigraphy, aided in identifying the most critical lesion in a complex clinical case.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether testicular needle biopsy is detrimental to testicular function in clinically normal bulls.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—6 mixed-breed mature bulls.

Procedure—A randomly selected testicle from each bull was biopsied with a 14-gauge needle biopsy instrument. Bulls were then evaluated over a 90-day period for changes in scrotal temperature and thermal patterns, ultrasonographic appearance, and quality of spermatozoa. At the end of the 90-day study, bulls were castrated, and testicles were examined grossly and histologically.

Results—Changes were detected in scrotal temperatures and thermal patterns and in the breeding soundness examination results during the first 2 weeks of the study. However, there were no long-term changes in semen quality over the course of the experiment. Hyperechoic areas were detected on ultrasonographic examination and corresponded to the areas of penetration by the biopsy instrument. Microscopic lesions that were indicative of testicular dysfunction were not found.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that testicular biopsy is a safe procedure in bulls. Testicular biopsy could possibly be used to further examine bulls that have less than satisfactory results for breeding soundness examinations. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:507–512)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association