Case Description—A 6-year-old Holstein cow was examined because of chronic lameness and swelling near the stifle joint of the left pelvic limb.
Clinical Findings—A mass was palpated in the soft tissues lateral to the proximal aspect of the left tibia. Multiple attempts to obtain a biopsy specimen of the mass resulted in acute compartment syndrome of the femoral compartment (tensor fasciae latae and biceps femoris muscles) and lateral tibial compartment (cranial tibial and peroneus tertius muscles) with associated sciatic nerve paralysis.
Treatment and Outcome—Surgical decompression via tensor fasciae latae and biceps femoris incision resolved the sciatic nerve paralysis. On the fifth day following surgery, the cow began to develop signs of increased respiratory effort. Thoracic radiography revealed a pulmonary metastatic micronodular pattern. The cow was euthanized because its condition deteriorated. Metastatic hemangiosarcoma was confirmed at necropsy, and the primary tumor was the mass that was lateral to the tibia and within the biceps femoris muscle.
Clinical Relevance—Hemangiosarcoma should be considered a differential diagnosis for lameness in cattle when no orthopedic cause can be identified. Close patient surveillance is strongly recommended in the event that a vascular tumor is present because catastrophic consequences are possible. To our knowledge, this is the first report of acute compartment syndrome in a pelvic limb of a bovine patient and the only report of hemangiosarcoma in the skeletal muscle of cattle.
Objective—To characterize duodenal sigmoid flexure volvulus (DSFV) and determine the prognosis for affected cattle undergoing surgery.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—29 dairy cattle.
Procedures—The medical records were analyzed for history, signalment, clinical signs, medical management, surgical findings, and outcome.
Results—29 cattle were determined to have DSFV between December 2006 and August 2010. Twenty cattle had had an omentopexy or pyloropexy performed 1 day to 2 years before initial evaluation. Cattle were afebrile, tachycardic, and moderately dehydrated, with a small zone of percussion with a ping at the 10th to 12th right intercostal spaces and associated succussion. Biochemical changes were a severe hypokalemic (mean ± SD, 2.9 ± 0.5 mmol/L; median, 3.1 mmol/L; range, 2.08 to 3.92 mmol/L), hypochloremic (mean, 69.7 ± 11.1 mmol/L; median, 71.7 mmol/L; range, 49.1 to 94.1 mmol/L) metabolic alkalosis (mean total CO2, 44.5 ± 7.4 mmol/L; median, 45.3 mmol/L; range, 31.5 to 59.6 mmol/L) and hyperbilirubinemia (mean, 32.4 ± 29.0 μmol/L; median, 20.5 μmol/L; range, 7.8 to 107 μmol/L). Surgical findings for DSFV included an empty descending duodenum adjacent to a dorsally displaced and dilated cranial segment of the duodenum, distended abomasum and gallbladder, and a tight volvulus at the base of the duodenal sigmoid flexure. Manual reduction was considered successful if the descending duodenum filled after cranial duodenal massage. Twenty-two patients were successfully treated; the remaining 7 died or were euthanized within 4 days after surgery.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A condition clinically resembling abomasal volvulus but affecting the duodenal sigmoid flexure has been recognized in dairy cattle. When a focal, dorsal right-sided ping and succussion are present combined with severe hypokalemic, hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis and high bilirubin concentration, DSFV should be suspected, especially when there is a history of prior abomasal fixation. After surgical correction, the prognosis is fair to good.