BACKGROUND: Type-5 abomasal ulcer (U5) is a perforated ulcer that causes peritonitis limited to the omental bursa. This retrospective study describes the clinical and laboratory findings in 14 cattle with omental bursitis due to U5. The medical records of 14 cows aged 2.5 to 14.6 years (5.4 ± 3.1 years) with U5 were scrutinised.
RESULTS: The most common clinical findings were partial or complete anorexia (100%), abdominal guarding (100%), obtunded demeanour (93%), congested scleral vessels (79%), tachypnoea (71%), rumen atony (64%), diminished faecal output (64%), reduced skin surface temperature (64%) and fever (46%). Four (29%) cows had between one and four concomitant diseases. The most common abnormal laboratory findings were hypokalemia (71%), haemoconcentration (57%), metabolic acidosis (57%) and azotaemia (43%). All cows were euthanased; five immediately after the initial examination, one after exploratory laparotomy and eight after unsuccessful treatment. A diagnosis of U5 was made in all cows during postmortem examination.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a need for improvement of the antemortem diagnosis of U5 because reliable differentiation of this disease from other conditions with a similar clinical presentation is currently not feasible.