Clinical and radiographic findings, treatment, and outcome in cattle with osteochondrosis: 29 cases (1986-1996)

By Forrest, Lisa J. and Markel, Mark D. and Nicoll, Robert G. and Trostle, Steven S., Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1997
Research Paper Web Link / URL:
Objective-To summarize the radiographic and clinical findings, treatment, and outcome in cattle with osteochondrosis diagnosed radiographically. Design-Retrospective case series. Sample Population-29 cattle with radiographic evidence of osteochondrosis. Procedures-Medical records were reviewed, and owners or referring veterinarians were contacted for outcome assessment. Data were analyzed for potential interactions between osteochondrosis classification (osteochondritis dessicans vs subchondral cyst- like lesions), clinical and radiographic findings, treatment, and outcome, using Fisher's exact test and descriptive statistics. Results-Osteochondrosis was associated with young, male, purebred cattle, clinical evidence of lameness, and radiographic evidence of concurrent degenerative joint disease. Osteochondritis dissecans and subchondral cyst-like lesions had similar clinical findings and outcomes but varied significantly in their radiographic distribution among joints. Osteochondrosis often manifests clinically as a unilateral condition, but bilateral lesions were often found (88%) when limbs were radiographically examined. Cattle managed conservatively tended to be culled (within 6 months of diagnosis because of lameness) more often than those managed surgically, despite the lack of treatment bias. Clinical Implications- Osteochondrosis in cattle is often associated with lameness or degenerative joint disease. Conservative management does not result in a favorable clinical prognosis for long-term, lameness-free survival, and more studies need to be completed to evaluate the efficacy of surgical treatment of osteochondrosis in cattle
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