Subtotal or partial unilateral arytenoidectomy for treatment of arytenoid chondritis in five calves

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 Aug 15;235(4):420-5. doi: 10.2460/javma.235.4.420.


Case description: 5 calves were evaluated for abnormal respiratory noise associated with variable degrees of respiratory distress.

Clinical findings: Tachypnea and inspiratory dyspnea were detected at initial evaluation in all calves. Endoscopic evaluation of the upper respiratory tract revealed enlarged and immobile arytenoids. Radiographic (n = 3) and computed tomographic (1) evaluation of the laryngeal area revealed images that were indicative of a large soft tissue mass at the level of the arytenoids obstructing the rima glottis. A presumptive diagnosis of arytenoid chondritis was made.

Treatment and outcome: A tracheostomy tube was placed in all calves. Medical treatment (with antimicrobials and anti-inflammatory drugs) was attempted in 4 calves after initial evaluation. Unilateral arytenoidectomy via a laryngotomy was performed under general anesthesia in all calves. Dysphagia and coughing were the most frequent postoperative complications. Three calves survived at least 6 months after the procedure. One calf died of a perforated abomasal ulcer 3 months after the surgery. Another calf died suddenly 1 month after the surgery of an undetermined cause.

Clinical relevance: Unilateral arytenoidectomy was a viable surgical treatment for arytenoid chondritis in calves. Further research in a larger number of affected cattle is needed to determine the advantages or disadvantages of this procedure over other surgical techniques.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arytenoid Cartilage / pathology
  • Arytenoid Cartilage / surgery
  • Cartilage Diseases / mortality
  • Cartilage Diseases / surgery
  • Cartilage Diseases / veterinary*
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / mortality
  • Cattle Diseases / surgery*
  • Female
  • Glottis / pathology
  • Glottis / surgery
  • Inflammation / veterinary
  • Laryngectomy / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / veterinary
  • Respiratory Sounds / veterinary
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / veterinary
  • Tracheostomy / veterinary*
  • Treatment Outcome