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Surgical management of multiple metatarsal fractures in a chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera)

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  • 1 Unité Nouveaux Animaux de Compagnie, Université Paris-Est, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France.
  • | 2 Unité Nouveaux Animaux de Compagnie, Université Paris-Est, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France.
  • | 3 Unité Nouveaux Animaux de Compagnie, Université Paris-Est, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France.
  • | 4 Unité Nouveaux Animaux de Compagnie, Université Paris-Est, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France.

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION A 3-month-old sexually intact female chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera) was examined for sudden onset of non–weight-bearing lameness of the right hind limb.

CLINICAL FINDINGS On physical examination, the right pes was swollen. An open wound on the medial aspect of the metatarsal region exposed the second metatarsal bone, and the pes was displaced laterally. Radiographs of the right pes revealed oblique displaced fractures of the 4 metatarsal bones.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Surgical treatment was elected, and enrofloxacin was administered prior to surgery. The protruding fragment of the second metatarsal bone was excised, and the third and fourth metatarsal bones were repaired with intramedullary pins and external skeletal fixation. The chinchilla was bearing weight on the affected limb 9 days after surgery with only mild lameness. The implants were removed 35 days after surgery when radiographs showed bony union of the third and fourth metatarsal bones and continued reduction of the fractures of the second and fifth metatarsal bones. Fifty-six days after surgery, the chinchilla was bearing full weight on the limb, and radiographs showed bony union of the third, fourth, and fifth metatarsal bones.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings suggested that intramedullary pinning combined with an epoxy resin external fixator may be an effective technique for metatarsal fracture repair in chinchillas. This method allowed physiologic positioning of the limb and functional hind limb use during fracture healing. Prospective studies of fracture healing in exotic small mammals are indicated.

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION A 3-month-old sexually intact female chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera) was examined for sudden onset of non–weight-bearing lameness of the right hind limb.

CLINICAL FINDINGS On physical examination, the right pes was swollen. An open wound on the medial aspect of the metatarsal region exposed the second metatarsal bone, and the pes was displaced laterally. Radiographs of the right pes revealed oblique displaced fractures of the 4 metatarsal bones.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Surgical treatment was elected, and enrofloxacin was administered prior to surgery. The protruding fragment of the second metatarsal bone was excised, and the third and fourth metatarsal bones were repaired with intramedullary pins and external skeletal fixation. The chinchilla was bearing weight on the affected limb 9 days after surgery with only mild lameness. The implants were removed 35 days after surgery when radiographs showed bony union of the third and fourth metatarsal bones and continued reduction of the fractures of the second and fifth metatarsal bones. Fifty-six days after surgery, the chinchilla was bearing full weight on the limb, and radiographs showed bony union of the third, fourth, and fifth metatarsal bones.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings suggested that intramedullary pinning combined with an epoxy resin external fixator may be an effective technique for metatarsal fracture repair in chinchillas. This method allowed physiologic positioning of the limb and functional hind limb use during fracture healing. Prospective studies of fracture healing in exotic small mammals are indicated.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Appendix S1 (PDF 290 kb)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Desprez (isabelle.desprez@vet-alfort.fr).