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Chronic peritonitis in adult cattle


  • Phil Scott DVM&S CertCHP DSHP FRCVS

    1. Large Animal Practice, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG
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Primary peritonitis is generally caused by haematogenous spread, but is uncommon in cattle. Peritonitis more commonly results from compromise to the gut wall which allows toxins, and following perforation gut contents, to leak into the peritoneal cavity. Other causes of peritonitis include traumatic perforation of the reticulum and uterus. The ability of the omentum to envelope perforated gut and leaked contents is remarkable which masks clinical signs making diagnosis difficult. Fibrinous adhesions to hepatic abscesses at the capsular surface are not uncommon and again prove difficult to diagnose and are rarely reported.