Fractures are encountered on a regular basis in large animal practice and managing them poses a challenge in the field. Cattle are excellent orthopaedic patients: they have great bone healing properties, most tolerate limb immobilisation well and they rarely suffer from contralateral limb disorders. However, the decision between treatment and euthanasia depends on the economic or genetic value of the animal, the cost of the treatment and the prognosis associated with the particular fracture. Treatment choices vary between stall rest, external coaptation, external fixation and open reduction with internal fixation, depending on the type of fracture and the bone involved. This article describes the different treatment options for common fractures encountered in cattle.
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