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A round-up of the latest literature

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01 March 2016, at 12:00am

Long term outcomes in 321 dogs undergoing total hip arthroplasty 

Luca Vezzoni and others, Vezzoni Veterinary Clinic, Cremona, Italy 

Total hip arthroplasty has been performed in dogs since 1976, first with cemented prostheses and then using cementless devices after 1988. The Zurich cementless total hip arthroplasty was developed at the University of Zurich in the late 1990s and is inserted within the medial cortex of the femur with locking screws, rather than a traditional press- t design. There is anecdotal evidence of an increase in complications in cases involving younger dogs, which it has been suggested may be related to the smaller size of the devices used in immature dogs.

The authors describe a study of the complications seen in 439 arthroplasty procedures in 321 individuals treated using a Zurich prosthesis. The dogs were classified as being aged either above or below 11 months, and all cases were followed up for at least two years. Their results show that the frequency of complications was less than 20% in both the juvenile and adult groups. Complications were primarily related to an increase in body condition following surgery.

Veterinary Surgery 44 (8): 921-929. 

An ultrasound-guided technique for hip injections in lame dogs 

Chiara Bergamino and others, University College, Dublin 

Intra-articular treatment is commonly used in human patients with hip osteoarthritis with injections given under ultrasound guidance to ensure safety and accuracy. The authors investigated the ultrasound anatomy of the canine hip to determine the feasibility of giving ultrasound-guided injections in both the diagnosis and treatment of canine osteoarthritis. Using canine cadavers in lateral recumbency they were able to locate and inject contrast medium into the anechoic gap between the femoral head and acetabular surface. Based on data from post-injection radiography, the accuracy was 81.8% at the first attempt and 100% at the second. 

Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound 56 (4): 456-461. 

Outcomes of tibiotarsal fracture repair procedures in 37 raptors 

Irene Bueno and others, University of Minnesota 

Raptors are susceptible to bone fractures caused by collisions with moving or stationary objects. A number of different surgical techniques have been described for repairing such injuries. The authors describe the outcomes when using the external skeletal fixator intramedullary pin tie-in technique (TIF) for the management of tibiotarsal fractures. In 31 of 37 cases (84%), the fracture was successfully treated with surgical reduction and TIF application. In 20 cases the bird recovered sufficient function to be rehabilitated and released into the wild.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247 (10): 1,154-1,160. 

Elastographic evaluation of tendon and ligament injuries of the equine distal limb 

Meghann Lustgarten and others, North Carolina State University 

Ultrasonography is now the primary method used in diagnosing tendon and ligament injuries in the horse. Elastography is a relatively new ultrasound technique using compression waves to characterise the stiffness of different types of tissue. The authors evaluated this technology in examinations of naturally occurring injuries. Using conventional ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging as the standard, they demonstrate the value of elastography in detecting small, proximal injuries of the hindlimb proximal suspensory ligament which may be helpful in characterising the chronicity and severity of lesions. 

Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound 56 (6): 670-679. 

Biomechanical parameters in the development of cranial cruciate ligament defects 

Nathan Brown and others, University of Louisville, Kentucky

Damage to the cranial cruciate ligament is the main orthopaedic condition of the stifle joint in dogs. The authors assessed the influence of four different biomechanical factors – ligament stiffness, ligament pre-strain, bodyweight and stifle joint friction co-efficient –

in a pelvic limb computer simulation model. Stifle joint outcome measures were compared between damaged and healthy joints for those different parameters. The model predicted that ligament pre-strain and bodyweight will have a significant influence on stifle joint biomechanics, confirming the importance of bodyweight management in controlling this condition.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 76 (11): 952-958. 

Surgical site infections following tibial plateau levelling osteotomy in dogs 

Alim Nazarali and others, University of Guelph, Ontario

Tibial plateau levelling osteotomy is one of the most commonly performed orthopaedic surgery techniques, used to stabilise the stifle joint following cruciate ligament injury. Although considered a “clean” procedure, TPLO is known to result in a high incidence of surgical site infections. The authors investigate the association between carriage of Staphylococcus pseudointermedius and SSIs in 549 dogs treated at seven veterinary hospitals. Of these 24 (4.4%) were identified as MRSP carriers prior to surgery and 37 (6.7%) developed an SSI. MRSP carriage was shown to be a risk factor for SSIs and measures are warranted to rapidly identify and treat such individuals.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247 (8): 909-916. 

Congenital abnormalities of the vertebral column in ferrets 

Pavel Proks and others, Brno University of Veterinary Sciences, Czech Republic

Congenital abnormalities of the spine are frequently identified radiographically in dogs but there is much less published information on the equivalent lesions in other domestic species. The authors carried out a retrospective analysis of radiographic images from 172 pet ferrets. Congenital abnormalities were evident in 29 animals, or 17%. Transitional vertebra represented the most common abnormalities occurring in the thoracolumbar region in 13 animals, in the lumbosacral region in 10, and in both regions in three cases. Other vertebral abnormalities included block and wedge vertebra, with two and one cases, respectively.  

Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound 56 (2): 117-123. 

Cervical disc herniation in chondrodystrophoid and normal small-breed dogs 

Takaharu Hakozaki and others, Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University, Tokyo 

Intervertebral disc disease is one of the most common neurological disorders in dogs and studies have suggested that chondrodystrophoid and small breed dogs are more commonly affected. The authors investigated the clinical features of 187 cases in dogs from both groups. Their findings indicate that there are breed-specific differences in the character of intervertebral disc disease with, for example, Yorkshire terriers having a significantly greater number of affected discs than Dachshunds and also requiring a longer recovery time than other breeds. 

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247 (12): 1,408-1,411. 

Infrared imaging of normal and dysplastic elbows in dogs 

Lauren McGowan and others, Long Island Veterinary Specialists, New York

Canine elbow dysplasia is one of the leading causes of forelimb lameness in dogs but its diagnosis can be challenging and localising the site of pain can be difficult because of the subtle clinical signs. The authors investigate the ability of medical infrared radiation to differentiate between healthy and dysplastic elbows. Imaging was performed on 15 normal and 14 abnormal elbows and the data analysed using descriptive statistics and image pattern analysis software. Their results indicate that the software was up to 100% accurate in identifying abnormal  and normal elbows with a medial presentation providing the most useful images.

Veterinary Surgery 44 (7): 874-882. 

Detection of early-stage arthritis in horses with radiography and low- eld MRI 

Charles Ley and others, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala

Validated non-invasive detection methods for early osteoarthritis are required for the prevention and prompt treatment of the condition. The authors evaluate the role of radiography and low- eld magnetic resonance imaging in detecting early-stage osteochondral lesions in equine centrodistal joints using microscopy as the reference standard. In studies on live Icelandic horses and cadaver samples, they show that both imaging methods were effective in diagnosis of early stage lesions. The detection of mineralisation front defects may be a useful screening tool in young horses. 

Equine Veterinary Journal 48 (1): 57-64. 

Bone mineral density characteristics of racehorses with condylar fractures 

Sophie Bogers and others, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine 

Catastrophic injuries of the third metacarpal bone and suspensory apparatus are the most common cause of death in racing thoroughbreds. The authors compared the bone mineral density of the distal epiphysis of this bone in post mortem samples from horses with, and without, a condylar fracture. Their results suggest that the bone characteristics of the distal epiphysis will reflect the training load and that the early signs of fracture are very subtle. Serial imaging in conjunction with detailed training data would be required to identify the onset of pathological injuries. 

American Journal of Veterinary Research 77 (1): 32-38. 

Focal defect resembling a subchondral bone cyst of the ulnar trochlear notch 

Kelly Makielski and others, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Subchondral bone cyst-like lesions are commonly reported in horses, humans and pigs but appear to be an unusual feature in dogs. The authors describe what they believe to be the first published report of a subchondral bone cyst in the ulnar of a dog. The affected animal was a 13-month-old spayed female Golden retriever/Standard poodle cross which presented with an intermittent right forelimb lameness. Physical examination revealed marked effusion and decreased flexion in the right elbow joint. Radiography showed mild osteophytosis and computed tomography indicated a focal defect in the subchondral bone in the trochlear notch resembling a subchondral bone cyst.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 51 (1): 20-24.