Milk flow obstruction caused by varicose vein of the teat in dairy cattle


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Abstract

Objective:To describe varicose vein as a cause of obstruction of the teat cistern in dairy cattle and to report therapeutic options and outcome.Study Design:Retrospective case series.Animals:Dairy cows (n = 22).Methods:Medical records (1998–2011) of dairy cows admitted for milking difficulties caused by a teat varicose vein were reviewed. Three treatment approaches were used: sclerotherapy, ligation of the vein associated with sclerotherapy, and phlebectomy. Long-term outcome was obtained ≥6 months after treatment and defined as a milking improvement. Descriptive statistics were used to determine the population at risk and a chi square test was used to evaluate the relationship between treatments and outcomes.Results:Twenty-four teats (22 cows) had a varicose vein. Forequarters were more frequently affected than rear quarters (P < .01). Three sclerotherapies, 12 ligations associated with sclerotherapy and 6 phlebectomies were performed. Five veins were not treated. Overall prognosis with treatment was good (84%) at ≥ 6 months and was not significantly different between treatment types (P = .38). Recurrence of the obstruction by the varicose vein occurred in 3 of 19 teats.Conclusions and clinical relevance:Several surgical options are available for treatment of teat varicose veins. The overall prognosis of return to normal milking is good.

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