Objective- To study the effect of digit amputation on animal survival, and distribution of lesions on limbs, days in milk and parity in operated cows.
Design- Retrospective descriptive study.
Animals- Thirteen cows in a dairy herd consisting 1100 lactating Holstein cows.
Procedures- Digit amputation by using a loop wire after inducing local intravenous anesthesia.
Results- Digits of 13 cows were amputated during the period of study. Most amputations were done in hindlimbs. The average of parity during surgery was 3.3 that were higher from the average of parity in the herd (2.9). Eight cases were recorded in the third or less parities and 5 cases in fourth or more parity. The average of days in milk for all amputated cow is 180.72 ± 136.18 days that in 5 cases it was recorded under 100 DIM and 8 cases is over 100 days. Six out of 13 cows (46.15 %) were survived at least one year after surgery and 7 cows (53.85%) were culled after amputation. The main reason for culling in 2 (28.57%) cases was infertility but in other five (71.43%) was complications of the lameness. The average time to culling after surgery in culled animals recorded as 131 days.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance- Regards to the results, digit amputation can extend lifespan of cows with some incurable digital diseases. Digit amputation may consider as a salvage method in dairy farms. Some factors like the time of surgery, surgical technique and extent of the lesions may affect the outcomes.