Surgical repair of humeral condylar fractures in New Zealand working farm dogs – long-term outcome and owner satisfaction

2015-04-14T13:52:19Z (GMT) by J Nortje WJ Bruce AJ Worth
<div><p></p><p>AIM: To report the long-term outcome, return to work and owner satisfaction, for working farm dogs in New Zealand following surgical repair of humeral condylar fractures.</p><p>METHODS: A retrospective study of working dogs that had undergone surgical repair of one or more condylar fractures of the humerus was undertaken by searching the medical records of two referral veterinary clinics. The inclusion criteria were working dogs that had undergone open surgical reduction and internal fixation of a fracture of one or both humeral condyles. The ability of the dog to work after surgery, persistence of lameness and the owners' degree of satisfaction with the outcome were assessed from answers to a questionnaire.</p><p>RESULTS: Sixteen dogs met the inclusion criteria and had owner questionnaires completed at a median follow-up interval of 54 (min 3, max 121) months. Fifteen were working farm dogs (13 Heading dogs, including Border Collies, and two New Zealand Huntaways) and one dog was a cross-breed used for pig hunting. Four dogs had two fractures on separate occasions, of which three underwent surgery on both elbows at a median interval of 19 months. Of the 20 humeral fractures, 10 were lateral condylar, one was a medial condylar fracture and nine were dicondylar fractures. Of the 16 repairs with follow-up data, seven (44%) dogs could perform all expected duties following surgical repair, whilst a further eight (50%) could perform most duties although some allowances had to be made for some limitation of their performance. Of the 15 owners responding, 13 (87%) were satisfied or very satisfied with the outcome of surgery and felt the surgery was worth the expense. Post-operative complications requiring a second surgery occurred in 7/20 (35%) dogs, and all six dogs that received appropriate surgical revision returned to work.</p><p>CONCLUSIONS: In this small case series, surgical repair of humeral condylar fractures in working dogs had a good prognosis with 15/16 of treated dogs returning to full or substantial levels of work.</p><p>CLINICAL RELEVANCE: These data provide veterinarians with relevant information regarding the outcome and prognosis of surgery for clients whose working dogs have fractured a humeral condyle.</p></div>