The clinical, radiographic, ultrasonographic and exploratory centesis findings in 33 cattle suffering from a septic tenosynovitis of the digital flexor tendon sheath are described. Forty-one digital flexor tendon sheaths were affected: 13 of the cattle had a unilateral and eight had a bilateral septic tenosynovitis, and in the other 12 cattle with unilateral tenosynovitis one or more of the digital joints were also involved. The distended compartments of the digital flexor tendon sheath and the affected digital joint recesses could be determined accurately by ultrasonography. Depending on the type of inflammation (serous, fibrinous or purulent) the compartments and recesses were filled with anechoic, heterogeneous hypoechoic or echogenic inflammatory content. Flow-phenomena could be observed when there were effusions of liquid into the synovial cavities. Ultrasonography provided accurate preoperative details of the pathological changes to the affected tendon sheaths and the adjoining digital joints. The characteristic ultrasonographic features of septic tenosynovitis of the digital flexor tendon sheath are described.
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