Aims: Self-sucking behaviors lead to substantial milk loss and inflammation of the udder and teats among dairy cows. Both conservative and surgical approaches are available to prevent such behavior; however, the current methods are limited by variable efficacy and risk of complications. The objective of the present study was to evaluate a new minimally invasive technique for reshaping of the tongue to prevent self-sucking.
Methods: The current technique was performed on five mixed breed dairy cows aged 4-6 years and with a mean weight 320 kg. One-shot reshaping of the normal contour of the tongue was achieved by the application of multiple interrupted inverting sutures to the ventral surface to prevent the tongue from forming a "U" shape. Post-operative approach included antiseptic mouth wash with povidone iodine solution twice daily and recording the healing process and complications.
Results: The mean operative time was 12±1 minutes. No complications were observed and all of the treated cows had stopped self-sucking at the 3-month follow-up evaluation.
Conclusions: One-shot tongue reshaping is an easy, minimally invasive, effective, and time-saving procedure for the treatment of self-sucking among dairy cows, with the advantage of causing little tissue damage.
Key words: Cattle, Glossectomy, Self-sucking.