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Maierl, Johann; Tiefenthaler, I.; König, H. E.; Liebich, Hans-Georg (1999): Anatomical investigations of the postnatal development of the third phalanx in cattle. In: Wiener Tierärztliche Monatsschrift, Vol. 86, No. 7: pp. 230-236
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to outline the postnatal adaptation of the bovine third phalanx in response to changed static-dynamic conditions. The distal phalanges of 26 animals (mostly Simmentals, ranging in agefrom new-born to adult) were examined. To demonstrate cross anatomy, 30 frozen feet were dissected in transverse and sagittal planes with a slice-thickness of 4 mm. The produced slices were macerated and the bones were radiographed in order to image the trabecular pattern of the spongiosa. Computed tomography was performed in nine intact feet to assess bone density. The bonemarrow was examined histologically in cattle of different age. The distal phalanx of a new-born calf shows an even, apparently randomly arranged distribution of cancellous bone in the sagittal plane. Compactbone is relatively thin. The only continuous cavity within the spongiosais the channel for the terminal arch. A few weeks after birth, remodelling of bone has become visible. These changes are thought to bethe response to the continuous increase in body weight and will continue to adult life. In the adult animal a medullary cavity is filled with yellow bone marrow and the terminal arch passing through it can be seenin the sagittal plane. The cancellous bone surrounding the central cavity shows a trajectorially oriented pattern. The compact bone is considerably thicker in the adult animals compared, to calves. The calf’s skeleton has to be functionally completed at birth without static or dynamic loading before birth. This is a vital prerequisite, since cattle are - in contrast to humans nidifugous animals. During postnatal development bone remodelling takes place beginning with afunctional but “indifferent” stage reaching a high grade of speciality in adult animals.