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Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 2019 Oct;161(10):677-688. doi: 10.17236/sat00230.

[Congenital flexural deformity in 93 calves - appearance, treatment techniques and results of pedigree analysis].

[Article in German; Abstract available in German from the publisher]

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Universitätsklinik für Wiederkäuer, Department für Nutztiere und öffentliches Gesundheitswesen in der Veterinärmedizin, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien, Österreich.
ZuchtData EDV-Dienstleistungen GmbH, A-1200 Wien, Österreich.


in English, French, German, Italian

Contracture of the flexor tendons (CFT) is very common in calves and it is usually diagnosed within the first few days after birth (congenital flexural deformity). However, CFT can appear even in older calves caused by chronic pain. The aetiology of CFT is still unknown. In this study, the distribution of sex, age, breed, the severity of flexural deformity, concurrent presence of other diseases, applied treatment methods for flexural deformity, and the outcome of calves with CFT, which were examined at the University Clinic for Ruminants in Vienna from 2001 to 2016, were evaluated retrospectively. 93 calves were admitted with CFT in the observation period. 70 (75.3%) calves were male and 78 (83.9%) of the affected animals were Simmental calves. The age of calves with CFT varied from one day to 41 days. Twenty-six calves suffered exclusively from CFT, and CFT was diagnosed as an additional finding in 67 calves. 91 animals (97.8%) showed CFT on the front limbs, 79 of them (84.9%) on both front limbs. The distribution of the severity scores was as follows: 69 calves (74.2%) had score 1, 17 calves (18.3%) had score 2, three calves (3.2%) had score 3. Three additional calves (3.2%) had a score 1 CFT on one front limb and a score 2 CFT on the other front limb, and one additional calf showed all three scores on both front limbs and one hind limb. 69 patients (74.2%) could be discharged with a significant improvement in CFT after treatment and 24 calves (25.8%) had to be euthanized due to other severe diseases. The results of the applied pedigree analysis do not show that a single gene mutation is the cause for the development of CFT, but rather a complex hereditary pattern has to be assumed. Depending on the severity of CFT and the presence of other concurrent diseases, an early and consistent therapy has to be carried out to achieve the highest possible success. Since animals with CFT are usually restricted in their movement, sufficient colostrum intake must be ensured within the first hours of life.


Beuge­sehnenkontraktion; Congenital flexural limb deformity; Deformità flessoria congenita; Kalb; Neuromyodysplasia congenita; Pedigreeanalyse; analisi del pedigree; analyse du pedigree; angeborener Sehnenstelzfuß; calf; contracture des tendons fléchisseurs; contracture of flexor tendons; contrattura tendinea flessoria; déformation congénitale du membre en flexion; neuromyodysplasie congénitale; pedigree analysis; veau; vitello.

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