Monday, April 23, 2012

COW: Pancake Batter (aka abscess)

This horse presented with a large swelling in his right inguinal area. The sheath was a little swollen too. He was a little sore as well. Here is a picture of what it looked like. What do you think?
The swelling was quite soft and felt like it was filled with fluid. The primary rule outs here are a hematoma (filled with blood), seroma (filled with serum) or an abscess (filled with pus). Here is an ultrasound image of the swelling. You can see that this huge swelling was filled with echogenic material. This image is characteristic of an abscess. An ultrasound allows us to get a good feel for how deep it goes and what structures are involved.
The best treatment for these is to establish drainage, so all the pus can get out. That is what we did. This is a picture of pus gushing out of this abscess.
Here it has slowed to a weak stream.
This was quite a large abscess that left a fairly good sized puddle.
Looks like a huge pancake on the griddle.
Abscess are not a rare occurence in veterinary medicine. It is just not very often that we encounter one of this size. This horse should go on and make a full recovery.


  1. Was there a determined cause for the abcess?

  2. The cause of this abscess could not be determined. Most likely it originated as an unidentified puncture wound that had since healed over but allowed an entry point of bacteria. The other causes to consider would be previous surgery in this area (i.e. cryptorchid surgery) but there was no history of that here. Odd case.