Objective: Laminitis is one of the main causes of lameness in dairy cattle. In this situation the corium blood circulation is disrupted and the production of healthy horny hoof wall is reduced. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the arteriographic pattern of the digital arterial branches in the laminitic digits and to compare them with the normal digits.
Design: Original study.
Animals: Thirty-eight laminitic and four normal hooves from hind limbs of the Holestein dairy cattle were collected from Shiraz slaughter house, Fars province, Iran.
Procedure: The dorsal digital artery of each limb was catheterized, followed by the injection of a 20 ml contrast media into each artery, in order to obtain appropriate radiographs from dorso-plantar and latero-medial positions. The arteriograms were studied and digital vascular alterations were recorded. The number of arteries, diameter of the arteries, the number of missing arteries, the number of extra arteries and angiogenesis were finally recorded.
Results: The overall vascular alterations were 52.6% and 47.3% in the lateral and medial hooves, respectively, which were not significantly different (P>0.05). Angiogenesis and new blood vessels were observed both in the lateral and medial hooves in 31.5% of the cases. No alteration in the vascular pattern of the heel area in the lateral arteriograms was observed compared to the healthy hooves. All the proven vascular changes from both lateral and medial digits of the hind limbs did not show any significant differences (P>0.05) implying that laminitis is a systemic disease and its effect is equally induced on the vascular pattern of both digits.
Conclusion: Lame cattle affected by laminitis develop vascular alterations in digits and need urgent care to reduce further complications.
Clinical Relevance: Prevention of lameness in dairy cattle.