Tongue reshaping: a new surgical method to prevent self-sucking in dairy cows
Self-sucking behaviors lead to substantial milk loss and inflammation of the udder and teats among dairy cows. Both conservative and surgical approaches are available to prevent such behavior; however, the current methods are limited by variable efficacy and risk of complications. The objective of the present study was to evaluate a new minimally invasive technique for reshaping of the tongue to prevent self-sucking. The current technique was performed on five mixed breed dairy cows aged 4-6 years and with a mean weight 320 kgs. Reshaping of the normal contour of the tongue was achieved by the application of multiple interrupted inverting sutures to the ventral surface to prevent the tongue from forming "U" shape. Post-operative approach included antiseptic mouth wash with povidone iodine solution twice daily and recording the healing process and complications. The mean operative time was 12±1 minutes. No complications except superficial pressure wounds from 3rd up to 10th day post-operative were observed. At three months follow up all treated cows had stopped self-sucking. One-shot tongue reshaping is an easy, minimally invasive, effective, and time-saving procedure for the treatment of self-sucking among dairy cows, with the advantage of causing little tissue damage.
Keywords: Cattle, Glossectomy, Self-sucking