Long Term Outcome of Conservative Management or Surgical Treatment of Bovine Spastic Paresis: 79 Cases

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Objective:To report the long term clinical outcome of calves treated surgically or managed conservatively for bovine spastic paresis of the gastrocnemius (BSP-G), quadriceps femoris muscle (BSP-Q), or mixed muscle involvement (BSP-M).Study Design:Retrospective case study.Animals:Calves (n = 79) with bovine spastic paresis.Methods:Medical records of calves treated by partial tibial neurectomy or managed conservatively for bovine spastic paresis were analyzed for sex, breed, lineage history, and the onset, duration, and severity of clinical signs. Cases were classified as unilateral or bilateral BSP-G, BSP-Q, or BSP-M. Long term follow-up information was obtained by telephone questionnaire.Results:The study group included 26 BSP-G (33%), 16 BSP-Q (20%), and 37 BSP-M (47%) calves. BSP-M and BSP-Q calves were significantly more bilaterally affected compared to BSP-G calves. Twenty-five of 26 BSP-G calves were treated surgically; 86% had complete resolution of clinical signs. Twenty-nine of 37 BSP-M calves were treated surgically; 81.5% improved, but none completely recovered. In all of the conservatively managed BSP-M calves, clinical signs gradually worsened. None of the BSP-Q calves were treated surgically; in 66.7%, clinical signs gradually worsened and 33.3% of calves spontaneously improved.Conclusion:Partial tibial neurectomy is advocated for the treatment of BSP-G and in selected cases of BSP-M. However, only partial resolution of clinical signs should be expected for BSP-M. No surgical treatment exists for BSP-Q calves, although spontaneous improvement is possible.

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