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Ultrasonographic findings in 11 cows with a hepatic abscess
  1. U Braun,
  2. N Pusterla and
  3. K Wild
  1. Clinic of Veterinary Internal Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland.


The livers of 11 cows with a hepatic abscess were examined ultrasonographically. An abscess was observed in only one intercostal space in three cows, in two spaces in five, in three spaces in two, and in four adjacent intercostal spaces in one cow. In three cows the abscess was imaged in the caudodorsal aspect of the liver in the 11th and 12th intercostal space, in five cows the abscess was visible in the central part of the liver in the ninth and 10th intercostal space and in the three other cows the abscess was observed in the cranioventral region of the liver in the sixth, seventh and eighth intercostal spaces. The abscess had a distinct and well developed capsule in nine cows. The content of the abscess was echogenic in six cows, anechoic in two, and echogenic with hyperechoic foci in three. In four cows, the content of the abscess was partitioned by echogenic septa. In one cow, the echogenic content of the abscess was surrounded by a narrow anechoic rim of fluid. The diameter of the abscess was 5 to 10 cm in four cows, 11 to 15 cm in four, and more than 15 cm in three. In every case the diagnosis was confirmed by centesis and aspiration of the abscess which yielded pus. Ten of the cows were slaughtered after being examined and the ultrasonographic findings were confirmed. In addition, 10 of the cows had other lesions which included traumatic reticuloperitonitis, abscessation of the reticulum, thrombosis of the caudal vena cava, bronchopneumonia with abscessation, reticulo-omasal stenosis, ascites and suppurative omental bursitis.

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