Two calves were referred because of ptyalism and difficulty opening the mouth (Calf 1) and for elective umbilical hernia surgery under inhalation anaesthesia (Calf 2). Additional clinical signs were increased breath sounds and swelling in the region of the mandibular angle in Calf 1. Ultrasonography and endoscopy revealed oral inflammation and abscessation in the area of the base of the tongue in both calves. Infection of the hyoid apparatus was suspected based on ultrasonographic findings and confirmed by means of computed tomography. In Calf 1, there was no response to treatment with systemic antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and local lavage, and Calf 2 was not treated. Both calves were euthanized because of a poor prognosis and the diagnoses confirmed during postmortem examination. In Calf 1, the abscess was associated with complete destruction of the left epihyoid bone and partial destruction of the left stylohyoid and ceratohyoid bones. In Calf 2, the abscess was located at the distal end of the right stylohyoid bone near the epihyoid bone. Stomatitis or laryngeal and pharyngeal abscessation caused by sharp feed particles are common in cattle and infection of the hyoid apparatus should be included in the differential diagnosis.