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Sokoto J. Vet. Sci.. 2017; 15(4): 42-51

Comparative evaluation of pin-in-fiberglass cast and Kirschner-Ehmer external fixative in the management of radius-ulna fractures in dogs

Abdulaziz Abdullahi Bada, Adamu Zoaka Hassan, Che Augustine Awasum, Echiobi Gaba Emmanuel, Nuhu Ma'azu Bappah, Maruf Lawal, Gabriel Enenche Ochube.


Four adult (two males and two females) dogs were used to comparatively evaluate the effectiveness of pin-in-fiberglass cast with Kirschner-Ehmer type I external skeletal fixative in the management of surgically created radius-ulna fractures in dogs. These dogs were assigned to two groups (A and B) with each group made up of two dogs. The radius-ulna fracture was created in all the dogs under general anaesthesia as follows: Group A, pin-in-fiberglass casting; and Group B, Kirschner-Ehmer type I external fixation. Post-operatively, minimal increase in vital parameters were observed, but were not significant (P>0.05) when compared with pre-operative values in both groups. The haematological indices were within acceptable normal limits for both group (P>0.05). Dogs in both groups bore weight on the operated limb and could walk within 24 hours post-operative. Radiographic evaluation revealed minimal soft tissue swelling and minimal periosteal tissue reaction in both groups. The Kirschner-Ehmer external fixative group attained the faster fracture healing time (7 weeks) compared to the pin-in-fiberglass group (8 weeks). Functional and cosmetic appearances were graded as excellent for both groups. Complications associated with the two techniques were cast sores in the pin-in-fiberglass group while pin loosening and serous pin tract drainage were observed in the Kirschner-Ehmer external fixative group. Thus, it was concluded that pin-in-fiberglass cast could be used as a satisfactory substitute to Kirschner-Ehmer type I external fixative in the management of simple radius-ulna fractures in dogs.

Key words: Bone, Dog, Fracture, Kirschner-Ehmer external fixative, Pin-in-fiberglass cast, Radius-ulna

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