Complications associated with surgical dehorning in goats: A retrospective study of 239 cases.
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OBJECTIVE: This article describes complications following surgical dehorning of goats. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective. Medical records of goats that underwent surgical dehorning were reviewed. ANIMALS: Two hundred thirty-nine goats. METHODS: The medical records of 239 goats, not previously dehorned by other methods, that were cosmetically dehorned between January 2006 and April 2016, were reviewed. Data retrieved from the medical records included breed, weight, the surgeon performing the procedure, intraoperative complications, and the occurrence of return visits to the teaching hospital because of complications related to the dehorning procedure. The owner of record then completed a standard questionnaire during a telephone interview. RESULTS: One or more complications following the surgical dehorning procedure were reported in 93/239 (38.91%) of goats. Complications were divided into major and minor categories. Eighty-four of 239 goats (35.14%) had minor complications, 3/239 goats (1.26%) experienced major complications, and 6/239 (2.51%) had both major and minor complications. The mean weight of goats with complications was 29.73 kg compared to 24.91 kg for goats without complications. This difference was statistically significant (P=.015). CONCLUSION: Surgical dehorning of goats results in a high rate of complications; however, the majority of these complications are minor and do not affect health and performance of the goats. Goats experiencing complications weighed significantly more than goats without complications. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Surgical dehorning of goats requires minimal aftercare and results in a low rate of serious complications.