Treatment of a malunion of the tibia and fibula in a giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)

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2022-01-01

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Vehicle collisions involving giant anteaters contribute significantly to the decline of this population. Although mortality rates at the time of trauma are high, many animals survive despite severe trauma and limb fractures. Treating these individuals is extremely challenging. This report describes the use of a corrective osteotomy to treat an angular deformity caused by inadequate healing of a tibial and fibular fracture in a young giant anteater. The animal was rescued on a highway by the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama). He was presented at the University Veterinary Hospital with lameness of the left pelvic limb and edema in the middle region of the tibial shaft. The radiographic examination showed an exuberant callus and significant bone deviation in the middle third of the left tibia and fibula. Corrective wedge osteotomy and fixation with a 3.5mm locking plate and 2.5mm intramedullary pin were performed. In the immediate postoperative period, there was functional recovery of the limb and complete consolidation of the osteotomy was identified 60 days after the operation. The corrective wedge osteotomy technique was effective for the treatment of inadequate tibial consolidation in a young giant anteater, providing complete recovery of all limb functions.

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Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinaria e Zootecnia, v. 74, n. 3, p. 535-541, 2022.

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