Surgical Management of Omphalophlebitis and Long Term Outcome in Calves: 39 Cases (2008–2013)

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe and evaluate the surgical management of omphalophlebitis and to report the short and long term outcomes in calves.

Study Design:

Retrospective case series.

Animals:

Calves (n = 39).

Methods:

Medical records (2008–2013) of calves diagnosed with omphalophlebitis and that underwent surgical correction were reviewed. Short term (hospital discharge) and long term (≥6 months after surgery) survival rates were obtained. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the population and a Fisher's exact test was used to evaluate the relationship between clinical signs, surgical management, and outcome.

Results:

Thirty-nine calves (median age 30 days) were included in the study. Eleven calves had septic arthritis associated with omphalophlebitis and 18 had evidence of liver abscesses on ultrasound. Complete surgical en bloc resection was achieved in 18 calves and umbilical vein marsupialization was performed on the other 21 calves. Thirty-five calves were discharged from the hospital and long term followup was obtained for 30 of them. Twenty-nine animals were performing according to the owner's expectation at least 6 months after surgery (14 for marsupialization and 15 for en bloc resection). A better prognosis was detected when en bloc resection was performed (100% survival); however, when marsupialization was performed, the prognosis was good (74%; P = .05). Septic arthritis had a significant negative effect on overall survival (P < .001).

Conclusion:

The overall survival is good with both surgical options, and even calves with liver involvement and septic arthritis associated can be successfully treated with a combination of long term antibiotics and umbilical vein marsupialization.

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