The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical effects of a femoral nerve block via a dorsal paralumbar injection in healthy calves and calves suffering from spastic paresis. Based on bony landmarks and using ultrasound guidance, the femoral nerves of eight healthy calves were blocked bilaterally with a 4% procaine solution containing blue dye. In 11/16 nerve blocks, paralysis of the quadriceps muscle was obtained after dorsal paralumbar injection. Paralysis was total in 8/16 cases. The injection site was confirmed by post mortem dissection, and in 12/16 cases, the blue dye was found <2 mm from the nerve. Clinical use of the technique was then demonstrated in two cases of atypical bovine spastic paresis. In such calves an objective diagnostic tool is required to identify those calves which are suitable for partial tibial neurectomy. The femoral nerve block used in this study has the potential to be such a method and can be used to establish the involvement of the quadriceps femoris in calves suffering from the quadriceps or mixed presentation form of spastic paresis.
The Veterinary Journal