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Clinical Management of Torticollis in a Bullock.


A ongole bullock was presented with history of neck deviation towards left side for last three days. It was diagnosed as neck scoliosis resulted due to spasms of neck musculature. Manual reduction of deviated neck was performed by applying traction and stabilized by fabricated metallic splint. Animal was treated with anti-inflammatory drugs besides regular physiotherapy with infrared rays. The bullock was able to move its neck in all directions by seventh day and had an uneventful recovery.

Keywords: Muscular spasm; physiotherapy; scoliosis; torticollis.


Torticollis is characterized by contracture of neck muscles. This could be either congenital due to fetal posture in utero or acquired due to trauma of cervical vertebrae and muscles (Kim et al., 2006). Incidence of torticollis is more in horse, goat and dog and less frequent in cattle. It may be myositic due to trauma to neck muscles or idiopathic origin (Davis, 1993). Animals suffering from this condition usually, have unilateral neck deviation towards affected side. Myositic torticollis should be treated as earlier as possible to correct the deformity, as there are chances of persistence in deviation, if delayed. In this condition, muscle relaxant should be given locally to relieve spasms of musculature besides regular physiotherapy to decrease inflammation and increase circulation to musculature. The present paper describes torticollis in a five year old ongole bullock and its management.

History and Clinical Observations

A five year old ongole bullock was presented with history of neck deviation towards its left side (Fig.1) since three days due to faulty intramuscular injection, while treating for yoke gall. Physical examination revealed deviation was reducible and hence was thought to be due to muscular spasms of neck and not due to subluxation of facets of cervical vertebrae.

Treatment and Discussion

The animal was administered with Xylazine hydrochloride injection at a dose rate of 0.03mg/kg b. wt. for restraining and also to relieve spasms of neck musculature. The neck was reduced to its normal position manually by applying traction and it was stabilized by locally fabricated metallic frame (Fig. 2). The latter was applied after thorough padding. Melonex (a) (Meloxicam) injection was given at a dose rate of 0.2mg/kg b. wt. to mitigate pain. Regular physiotherapy using infrared radiation was carried out to increase the blood circulation to musculature. Further, animal was given Vitamin A,[D.sub.2],E and Se injection to hasten the recovery. The animal was able to move its neck in all directions gradually and by 14th day, it could maintain the same even after removal of metallic splint (Fig. 3). There was no recurrence of signs even after three months.

Present case was reported in a five year old ongole bullock while Kim et al. (2006) observed torticollis in horses, goats and dogs and in rare in cattle. Congenital torticollis was reported by a few authors like Chandana et al. (1982), Mallikharjunarao et al. (2006) etc. Torticollis reported in present case was of myositic origin, resultant of faulty intramuscular injection causing trauma to cervical muscles (Kim et al., 2006). Muscular spasms and ischemic myositis generally seen in myositic torticollis were treated by administration of muscle relaxants, anti inflammatory drugs and regular physiotherapy with infrared radiation (Davis, 1993), as followed in present case. The response to treatment was satisfactory which could be attributed to the fact that condition is only acquired involving lateral cervical muscles. On contrary to these observations, response was only marginal in congenital torticollis, where ligamentum nuchae and intertransversalis colli muscles were affected (Mallikharjunarao et al., 2006).The locally designed cradle like device appeared satisfactory in immobilization of neck and bullock was put to normal work after a brief period following recovery.


Torticollis in a ongole bullock was managed by manual traction, stabilization with metallic splint and by administration of muscle relaxants and anti inflammatory drugs which helped in decreasing inflammation and improving circulation to cervical muscles. The cradle like metallic splint can be recommended for immobilization of neck for any cases of torticollis which can affectively prevent animals from becoming liable to farmers.


Chandana, I.S., Singh, K. and Singh, Y. (1982). Congenital torticollis in a Jersey calf - anatomical and radiological study. Haryana Vet. 21: 114.

Davis, V.R. (1993). Management of torticollis (Wry neck/myositic torticollis/idiopathic torticollis). Dynamic Chiropractic 11.

Kim, D.H., Liu, J., Lee, J.Y., Macmanus, P., Jennings, P., Darcy, K., Burke, F. and Rojers, P.A.M. (2006). Acupucture treatment of torticollis in a foal. Korean J Vet Res. 46: 43-46.

Mallikharjunarao Ch, Prasasd, V.D. and Kumar, R.V.S. (2006). Congenital torticollis in a calf - A case report. Andhra Pradesh Vet. 4: 5.

P. Ravi Kumar (1), M. Raghunath (2) and P. Vidya Sagar (1)

Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology NTR College of Veterinary Science Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University (SVVU) Gannavaram - 521102 Dist. Krishna (Andhra Pradesh).

(1.) Corresponding author. E-mail:

(a) - Brand of Intas Animal Health, Ahmedabad
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Kumar, P. Ravi; Raghunath, M.; Sagar, P. Vidya
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Clinical report
Date:Jul 1, 2016
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