Use of the SOP locking plate system on a wolf cub - Veterinary Practice
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Use of the SOP locking plate system on a wolf cub

Tim Garran presents a case study of a maned wolf cub in need of orthopaedic surgery

A 10-week-old, 4.95kg maned
wolf cub (originating from South
America) came from the Rare Breed
Conservation Centre in Sandwich.

Having got trapped in
a hawthorn tree, the wolf
had a mid-diaphyseal,
long oblique fracture of
the (right) radius and
a straight mid diaphyseal fracture
of the ulna. The case had many
considerations before surgery:

  • the cub is essentially wild so post-op
    care and restriction will be limited;
  • reduced implant holding capability
    due to the juvenile, soft bone;
  • when fully grown, the maned wolf
    has very long legs, meaning accurate reduction and fixation is required;
    internal fixation would be the only

The SOP locking plate system
(Orthomed) was used for a variety of

  • the plates can be quickly and easily
    the locking technology indicated in
    soft bone;
  • performed ridged internal fixation
    without the need to fill all the screw

A medial approach to the radius and
ulna was taken and the fracture of the
radius was reduced.

An appropriate length SOP plate
was contoured appropriately and three
bicortical screws were applied to the
proximal and distal fragments.

Post-ops show good axial and special
alignment and a fissure was generated
on reduction of the fracture.

Post-operatively there was some
swelling which was unable to be
bandaged but by the following day the
cub was weight bearing. Two weeks later the
keepers say
he is doing
very well. The
swelling has
resolved and
he is using the

He is
expected to
make a full


The author would like to thank The
Rare Breed Conservation Centre,
Sandwich, for permission to use this
case. Information on the centre and
zoological gardens can be found at

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