Five cows with reticular abscesses were examined clinically, haematologically, radiographicaHly and ultrasonographically. They all had clinical signs typical of traumatic reticuloperitonitis, including chronic indigestion, pyrexia, an absence of or reduced ruminal motility, weight loss and a positive reaction to foreign body tests. A haematological examination revealed anaemia, increased concentrations of plasma protein and fibrinogen and a decreased clotting time in the glutaraldehyde test. On the basis of the radiographic examination, a tentative diagnosis of reticular abscess was made in four of the cows, because the reticulum was displaced from the peritoneum or because there was an extensive gas-fluid interface in the reticular region. By ultrasonography, a large reticular abscess with a well developed capsule was visible in each of the cows. The abscess was located between the reticulum and ventral peritoneum in two of them, between the reticulum and right thoracic wall in two and between the reticulum and spleen in the other cow. A foreign body penetrating the abscess could be visualised ultrasonographically in one cow. In two cows, the abscesses were drained through an ultrasound-guided transcutaneous incision. In the other three cows, the abscess was incised and drained from within the reticulum during a rumenotomy. Ultrasonographic examination revealed that the abscess had been completely evacuated in four cows, but only by about two-thirds in the remaining cow. All the cows were clinically healthy when they were discharged.
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