Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2022; 35(03): 205-212
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1739238
Clinical Communication

Outcomes and Complications Associated with Acute Gunshot Fractures in Cats and Dogs

Kelly Schrock
1   Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States
,
1   Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States
,
Nick Jeffery
1   Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.

Abstract

Objective The aim of this study was to summarize outcomes and complications of gunshot fracture management in small animals.

Study Design Review of cats and dogs with radiographically confirmed acute gunshot fractures, presenting data on signalment, fracture location, fracture management (surgical vs. non-surgical, type of surgical repair), fracture comminution, extent of soft tissue trauma, postoperative complication and overall outcome. A poor outcome was defined as patient death, major postoperative complication or limb amputation (both as primary treatment or secondary to postoperative complications).

Results Ninety-seven animals with 137 acute gunshot-induced fractures were identified. There were 21 (15.3%) maxillofacial, 16 (11.7%) vertebral column, 8 (5.8%) rib, 56 (40.9%) distal long bone (below stifle/cubital joint) and 36 (26.3%) proximal long bone (at or above stifle/cubital joint) fractures. Overall, 20/37 cases with sufficient follow-up details incurred a poor fracture outcome. Extensive soft tissue trauma at the fracture site was associated with an increased likelihood of poor outcome. The most common poor outcomes were primary limb amputations (7 cases) and postoperative complications (3 osteomyelitis/surgical site infections, 4 delayed/non-unions).

Conclusion Gunshot fractures overall have high likelihood of poor outcome. Severe soft tissue injury is associated with complications. Mitigating poor outcome likely requires early aggressive wound management.

Authors' Contribution

K.S., S.C.K. and N.J. contributed to the study conception and design. K.S. and S.C.K. acquired the data, and N.J. conducted data analysis. All authors participated in data interpretation, drafting and revising the manuscript and approval of the final manuscript.


Supplementary Material



Publication History

Received: 13 January 2021

Accepted: 04 October 2021

Article published online:
07 December 2021

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