Osseous lesions in the distal extremities of dogs with strangulating hair mats.
Strangulating hair mats in dogs are characterized as soft tissue injury secondary to chronically matted hair, which can encircle the extremities and constrict lymphatic tissue and local vasculature. As the tissue swells, the hair constriction tightens and may result in tissue necrosis and osseous changes secondary to ischemic necrosis. The objectives of this retrospective case series were to describe the radiographic characteristics of persistent hair mat strangulation in dogs, to identify clinical features that would distinguish between dogs with soft tissue lesions only and dogs with osseous changes and to describe the clinical outcome in these dogs. All dogs with clinically identified strangulating hair matting had radiographically identified soft tissues defects and over half of the limbs evaluated had osseous lesions including focal periostitis, bone remodeling, bone atrophy, lysis of bone, and occasionally subluxation of joints. Chronically matted hair and strangulating hair mats in dogs are recognized by veterinarians as a medical finding in animal neglect. The osseous features of strangulating hair mats have not been described in the veterinary medical literature. This study describes the clinical features and radiographic characteristics of strangulating hair mats.