Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Suturing teat injuries

Contributor(s): Ash Phipps , John Tulloch

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Introduction

  • Teat lacerations are usually traumatic in origin:
    • cut by wire
    • trodden on by another cow or herself!   .
  • The teat integument may be preserved or may be open.
  • Open teat lacerations can be classified as partial or full thickness.
    • Full thickness lacerations may perforate into the streak canal, teat sinus, or gland sinus.

Uses

  • Repair of teat laceration.

Advantages

  • The procedure can be carried out in the field in the standing animal or in an animal that is in lateral or dorsal recumbency.

Disadvantages

  • Primary wound closure is most successful within the first 12 hours of the laceration occurring.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • The overall prognosis for teat lacerations that involve the teat sinus is favourable (60% short term for continued lactation in current lactation and 25-44% for subsequent lactations).
  • The direction and location of the laceration can impact on the likelihood of the procedure having a successful outcome.
    • Longitudinal lacerations generally have a better outcome in terms of healing than horizontal lacerations due the fact that the blood vessels originate from the base of the teat and course to the apex of the teat.
    • Lacerations high up the teat (closest to the base of the teat) heal better than distal lacerations due to teat perfusion.
  • Partial thickness lacerations towards the apex of the teat that have a flap of tissue present, have a poorer prognosis than some full thickness lacerations.
  • Open lacerations that enter the streak canal or the gland sinus have the worst prognosis as they are difficult to repair.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Roberts J & Fishwick J (2010) Teat surgery in dairy cattle. In Practice 32 (8), pp 388-396.
  • Arighi M, Ducharme N G, Horney F D, Livesey M A et al (1987) Invasive Teat Surgery in Dairy Cattle: II—Long-term Follow-up and complications. The Canadian Veterinary Journal 28 (12), pp 763.
  • Ducharme N G, Arighi M, Horney F D, Livesey M A et al (1987) Invasive teat surgery in dairy cattle: part I—surgical procedures and classification of lesions. The Canadian Veterinary Journal 28 (12), pp 757.

Other sources of information

  • Fubini S L & Ducharme N (2004) Farm animal surgery. Elsevier Health Sciences, St Louis, Missouri, USA. pp 408-418.


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