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Septic Arthritis of the Distal Interphalangeal Joint in Cattle: Comparison of Digital Amputation and Joint Resection by Solar Approach

Authors

  • A. STARKE DrMedVet, Dipl ECBHM,

    1. Clinic for Cattle and the Institute for Biometry, Epidemiology and Information Processing, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Germany
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  • M. HEPPELMANN DrMedVet,

    1. Clinic for Cattle and the Institute for Biometry, Epidemiology and Information Processing, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Germany
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  • M. BEYERBACH DrRerHort,

    1. Clinic for Cattle and the Institute for Biometry, Epidemiology and Information Processing, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Germany
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  • J. REHAGE Prof DrMedVet, PhD, Dipl ECBHM

    1. Clinic for Cattle and the Institute for Biometry, Epidemiology and Information Processing, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Germany
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  • Presented at the 13th International Symposium and 5th Conference on Lameness in Ruminants, Maribor, Slovenia, February 2004 (Proceedings: pp 124–125).

Address reprint requests to Dr. Maike Heppelmann, Clinic for Cattle, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173 Hannover, Germany. E-mail: maike.heppelmann@tiho-hannover.de.

Abstract

Objective— To determine in cattle with septic arthritis of the distal interphalangeal joint (SADIJ) the efficacy of resection of the distal interphalangeal joint (JRES) as a digit salvage technique compared with digital amputation (DAMP).

Study Design— Prospective, randomized clinical study.

Animals— German Holstein–Friesian dairy cattle with SADIJ of 1 hind limb (n=52).

Methods— SADIJ diagnosis was based on clinical examination and radiography. Cows were randomly assigned with owner consent to DAMP (n=26) or JRES (n=26). After JRES, a wooden block was fixed to the partner claw in combination with a tipping claw prophylaxis.

Results— After surgery, degree of lameness improved significantly faster after DAMP than after JRES. New claw diseases in the opposite limb occurred more frequently after JRES (n=6) than after DAMP (n=1). New claw defects developed in the partner claw on the operated limb in 6 cows after DAMP compared with 1 after JRES. Tipping claw was observed in 50% of JRES cows at day 180. Mean life span between groups was not significantly different (DAMP=13.5 months, JRES=10.9 months).

Conclusion— Higher surgical and postsurgical expenditures for JRES were not counterbalanced by a longer productive life; however, frequent disease of the partner claw of cows after DAMP should be considered a critical point, as this generally leads to culling.

Clinical Relevance— The higher expenditure for JRES can be justified only for young, valuable cattle.

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