MSD Manual

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Professional Version

Coxofemoral Luxation in Cattle


Paul R. Greenough

, FRCVS, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

Last review/revision Sep 2015 | Modified Oct 2022

Luxation of the coxofemoral joint is usually upward. It is seen in cows riding each other. The affected limb appears shorter than the contralateral limb. The hock is turned inward and, when trying to walk, the animal appears to be dragging one foot behind the other.


Resolution is possible, provided that the head of the femur or the rim of the acetabulum has not been fractured. The animal should be deeply sedated to the level of recumbency. A rope should be looped around the groin of the affected limb, which should be uppermost. The free ends of the rope should be tied around a tree or some other fixed object, and traction should be applied to forcibly extend the limb. Downward pressure should then be applied to the hock, which should be strongly rotated outward (upward) until the head of the femur slips back into the acetabulum. Traction should be applied at several angles until the head of the femur clicks back into the acetabulum. If the head of the femur or the rim of the acetabulum is fractured, there will be considerable crepitation, and the head of the great trocanter will displace as soon as traction is stopped.

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