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Surgical management and outcome of acquired inguinal hernias in mature bulls: 13 cases (2005–2017)

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  • 1 From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66502

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe rates of surgical complications, survival, and return to breeding soundness following herniorrhaphy for bulls with inguinal hernias.

ANIMALS

13 sexually mature bulls with acquired inguinal hernias.

PROCEDURES

Medical record databases of 3 veterinary teaching hospitals were searched to identify records of bulls that underwent herniorrhaphy for correction of an inguinal hernia from 2005 to 2017. Information extracted from the medical records included breed, age, duration and side of the hernia, surgical procedure details, postoperative complications, and information regarding subsequent fertility.

RESULTS

All 13 bulls had a left inguinal hernia and were anesthetized and underwent herniorrhaphy via an inguinal approach. The left testicle was removed during the surgical procedure in 2 bulls. Nylon or polypropylene mesh secured with size-5 polyester suture was used to facilitate inguinal ring closure in 2 bulls. The inguinal ring was closed with size-5 or size-2 polyester suture in the remaining bulls. Postoperative complications included hernia recurrence (n = 4), excessive scrotal swelling (3), and transient radial nerve paralysis (1). Follow-up information was available for 7 bulls. All 7 bulls had impregnated cows or heifers following surgery, including 1 bull that had hernia recurrence and underwent unilateral castration during the second herniorrhaphy.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Inguinal herniorrhaphy with or without mesh was a safe and effective procedure for inguinal hernia repair in bulls and was associated with a good prognosis for subsequent fertility. However, sparing the ipsilateral testicle during the herniorrhaphy procedure might increase the risk for hernia recurrence.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe rates of surgical complications, survival, and return to breeding soundness following herniorrhaphy for bulls with inguinal hernias.

ANIMALS

13 sexually mature bulls with acquired inguinal hernias.

PROCEDURES

Medical record databases of 3 veterinary teaching hospitals were searched to identify records of bulls that underwent herniorrhaphy for correction of an inguinal hernia from 2005 to 2017. Information extracted from the medical records included breed, age, duration and side of the hernia, surgical procedure details, postoperative complications, and information regarding subsequent fertility.

RESULTS

All 13 bulls had a left inguinal hernia and were anesthetized and underwent herniorrhaphy via an inguinal approach. The left testicle was removed during the surgical procedure in 2 bulls. Nylon or polypropylene mesh secured with size-5 polyester suture was used to facilitate inguinal ring closure in 2 bulls. The inguinal ring was closed with size-5 or size-2 polyester suture in the remaining bulls. Postoperative complications included hernia recurrence (n = 4), excessive scrotal swelling (3), and transient radial nerve paralysis (1). Follow-up information was available for 7 bulls. All 7 bulls had impregnated cows or heifers following surgery, including 1 bull that had hernia recurrence and underwent unilateral castration during the second herniorrhaphy.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Inguinal herniorrhaphy with or without mesh was a safe and effective procedure for inguinal hernia repair in bulls and was associated with a good prognosis for subsequent fertility. However, sparing the ipsilateral testicle during the herniorrhaphy procedure might increase the risk for hernia recurrence.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 130 KB)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Mulon (pmulon@utk.edu).