ISSN 2398-2985      

Digit/limb trauma

6guinea pig
Contributor(s):

Introduction

  • Digit or limb trauma requiring complete or partial removal where medical treatment is prohibited, has not been successful or where repair surgery is not possible Digit/limb amputation
  • Cause:
    • Advanced pododermatitis Pododermatitis unresponsive to medical treatment: the contralateral limb must not be affected.
    • Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis, often secondary to advanced pododermatitis:
      • The contralateral limb must not be affected.
      • Front feet more commonly affected and amputated.
    • Bone fractures unsuitable for conservative treatment Fractures overview:
      • Complicated comminuted fractures.
      • Where surgical repair is prohibited by cost or euthanasia is considered.
      • Where required aftercare not available, eg outdoor animals.
      • Where surgical repair is prohibited by the animal’s overall condition, eg geriatric individuals with a higher risk of anesthesia. Amputation is a relatively quick procedure.
      • Severe soft tissue damage.
    • Joint dislocations.
    • Limb neoplasia Neoplasia overview, eg osteosarcoma. This is rarely reported in guinea pigs.
    • Congenital limb deformities; rarely reported in guinea pigs.
  • Signs: acute or chronic lameness with underlying condition unmanageable with medical therapy, eg complicated fracture, chronic pododermatitis.
  • Diagnosis: radiography, CT scan.
  • Treatment: partial or total amputation of the affected digit or limb.
  • Prognosis: guarded.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Fractures often due to inappropriate handling, eg dropping from a height.
  • Limbs caught in wire cage floor/set up door leading to crush injuries of digits and limbs.
  • Inappropriate bedding or husbandry with a dirty environment leading to compromised skin barrier and pododermatitis.
  • Other trauma in young animals, eg stampeding behavior Stampeding behavior.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Inappropriate handling Restraint, eg unsupervised handling by children.
  • Caging with wire flooring.
  • Dirty environment.

Specific

  • Obesity and inactivity can lead to pododermatitis.

Pathophysiology

  • Metabolic bone disease, lack of UVB exposure leading to pathological fractures.

Timecourse

  • Fractures: acute.
  • Pododermatitis: acute to chronic. Often medical treatment had been undertaken for months.
  • Neoplasia: chronic.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Gallego M (2017) Case report of a satin guinea pig with fibrous ssteodystrophy that resembles human pseudohypoparathyroidism. Case Rep Vet Med Hindawi.

Other sources of information

  • Hawkins M G & Bishop C R (2012) Disease Problems of Guinea Pigs. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier. pp 295-310.

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