One hundred calves with an uncomplicated umbilical hernia were included in a prospective study. The frequency of wound infection and recurrence of herniation were compared in animals operated on either with or without prophylactic antibiotics. In 90 calves operated on for the first time (60 without antibiotics and 30 with antibiotics) there were no infections and only one hernia recurred. In 10 calves operated on for the second time (seven without antibiotics and three with antibiotics) there were two infections and one hernia recurred in the group not receiving antibiotics.
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