OBJECTIVE: To evaluate by use of radiography the efficacy of oral administration of magnets in the treatment of traumatic reticuloperitonitis in cows.
ANIMALS: 90 cows referred because of indigestion.
PROCEDURE: Radiography of the reticulum was performed. In all cows, radiographic findings revealed a metal foreign body in the reticulum. A magnet was administered orally, and the reticulum was again radiographed to assess the position of the magnet and to determine whether the foreign body was attached to the magnet.
RESULTS: The magnet was observed in the reticulum in 75 cows and in the cranial aspect of the dorsal sac of the rumen in 9 cows; in 6 cows, the magnet was not observed. The foreign body was fully attached to the magnet in 49 cows. In 6 cows, the foreign body was in contact with the magnet but still penetrated the reticulum. In 24 cows, the foreign body did not contact the magnet, and in 11 cows, it was not clear whether the foreign body was attached to the magnet. A foreign body at an angle to the ventral aspect of the reticulum of > 3 degrees was less likely to become attached to a magnet, compared with a foreign body situated horizontally on the ventral aspect of the reticulum. A foreign body with no contact to the ventral aspect of the reticulum or a perforating foreign body was also less likely to become attached to a magnet.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Position of the foreign body within the reticulum greatly influences the efficacy of treatment with a magnet.