Lameness problems in large animals - Veterinary Practice
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Lameness problems in large animals

Practicalities of lameness management in sheep

Laura Green and others, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick

Lameness in sheep has significant detrimental effects on the health, welfare and productivity of the national flock and so is a major concern of farmers and their veterinary advisers. In discussing a practical approach to minimising the impact of lameness, the authors emphasise the importance of farmers and vets speaking the same language when referring to the common causes of lameness – interdigital dermatitis, footrot, contagious ovine digital dermatitis, toe granuloma, toe abscess and shelly hoof. The proposed strategy focuses on rapid detection and accurate diagnosis of all lameness cases, together with appropriate treatment including both parenteral and topical antibiotics for the two main infectious causes of ovine lameness, footrot and interdigital dermatitis. They say this approach can reduce the prevalence of lameness from 10% to 1% within two months

UK Vet Livestock edition 13 (7): 50-53.

Effect of dietary nutrients on osteochondrosis lesions in pigs

Nolan Frantz and others, Kansas State University

Osteochondrosis, caused by a failure in the endochondral ossification of cartilage to bone, is an extremely common problem in growing pigs. The effect of diet on the development of these lesions was investigated in groups of pigs fed normal diets or with supplementary minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. At slaughter, pigs fed diets enriched with the amino acids methionine and threonine, or with additional proline, glycine, copper and manganese had lower lesions scores although further work is needed to define optimal levels for each.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 69 (5): 617-624

Expression of inflammatory mediators in synovial fluid of calves with septic arthritis

David Francoz and others, University of Montreal

In septic arthritis, the inflammatory response causes a rapid influx of inflammatory cells into the joints which release inflammatory mediators such as matrix metalloproteinase enzymes (MMPs). The authors investigate the presence of two particular enzymes, MMP-2 and MMP9, in the synovial fluid of calves with experimentally-induced septic arthritis. MMP-2 was detectable in all samples while MMP-9 was only detected in calves with clinical disease. Both molecules were present at elevated levels for up to 24 days after infection.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 69 (8): 1,022-1,028

Pharmacokinetics of florfenicol in serum and synovial fluid

John Gilliam and others, Oklahoma State University

Achieving a therapeutically active concentration is the key element in the successful antibiotic treatment of infectious diseases affecting the bovine foot. The authors assess the pharmacokinetics of florfenicol administered by regional intravenous perfusion (RIVP). High florfenicol concentrations were achieved in digital venous blood and synovial fluid, while central venous blood concentrations remained low. So this administration method may be useful in treating infectious conditions involving the distal portions of the bovine limb.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 69 (8): 997-1,004.

Use of biodegradable urethanebased adhesives to repair meniscal defects

John Field and others, Flinders University, South Australia

Trauma to the knee will often result in tears to the meniscal cartilage, usually affecting poorly vascularised areas which may limit the rate of natural healing. The authors evaluate the biological response to two urethanebased adhesives used to repair full thickness meniscal wounds in an experimental sheep model. In each case there were good signs of tissue repair and collagen deposition around the polymer with no evidence of adverse cellular responses to the adhesive in the tissue or surrounding synovial fluid.

Australian Veterinary Journal 86 (6): 229- 234

Diagnosis and treatment of septic arthritis in cattle

Alexander Starke and others, University of Hannover

Septic arthritis is a complicated disease of the locomotor system which may develop into a more generalised infection. Each case should be regarded as an emergency, since the prognosis becomes less favourable as the condition develops and the treatment costs escalate. The authors describe the diagnostic procedures appropriate for septic arthritis cases in cattle, together with the range of available treatment options. As the condition is capable of causing considerable pain, possible analgesia options are also discussed.

Cattle Practice 16 (1): 36-43

Use of intramammary antibiotics in the treatment of digital dermatitis in cattle

Goksen Cecen and others, University of Uludag, Turkey

Digital dermatitis is the most common infectious cause of lameness in cattle. Intramammary antibiotic preparations may be used to treat this condition when no suitable topical preparation is available. The authors examined records from 139 digital dermatitis lesions in 119 animals treated with a variety of topical therapies. The response in cattle given topical treatment with intramammary preparations was similar to that in cattle given standard antibacterial ointment, or antiseptic solution following debridement and bandaging.

Cattle Practice 16 (1): 64-68

Treatment of ovine tendon injury with two populations of stem cells

Antonio Crovace and others, University of Bari, Italy

Encouraging results have been achieved in horses using stem cells for tissue regeneration and repair of tendon injuries. The authors assess the response in an experimental ovine model of using cells from two sources: cultured bone marrow mesenchymal cells (cBMSCs) and bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMNCs). Compared with fibrin glue, saline solution and sham controls in treating collagenase-induced tendinitis, both stem cell populations showed similar capabilities in restoring the architecture of tendon fibres.

Veterinary Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology 21 (4): 329-335.

Palliative treatment of osteochondrosis dessicans in a Duroc boar

Kevin Oomah, University of Saskatchewan

A two-year-old Duroc boar weighing 210kg was presented for evaluation of a grade II-III left front lameness. The author describes the animal’s clinical history and its treatment with isolfupredone acetate and a five week course of ketoprofen, used off label in this species. The condition resolved and the ketoprofen was discontinued but the lameness then returned and the boar was euthanased. A post mortem examination revealed changes in the left front radiohumeral joint consistent with a diagnosis of osteochondrosis dessicans.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 49 (1): 82-83.

An outbreak of congenital chondrodysplasia in calves in south-east Australia

Jeff Cave and others, Department of Primary Industries, Wodonga, Victoria

A congenital skeletal deformity in calves has been reported previously in Australia, with affected animals becoming known as “acorn calves” because of an unproven link between the condition and their dams having fed on acorns. The authors investigated an outbreak affecting cattle in Victoria and New South Wales. No evidence was found of any infectious agent and no specific aetiology could be determined. One current theory suggests that the condition may result from a manganese deficiency during foetal development.

Australian Veterinary Journal 86 (4): 130- 135.

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