ISSN 2398-2993      

Cellulitis

obovis
Contributor(s):

Sophie Mahendran

Mo Kemp


Introduction

  • Cellulitis is an acute inflammatory condition of the dermis and subcutaneous tissue usually found complicating a wound, ulcer or dermatosis.
  • Cause: generalized bacterial infection via skin abrasion or wound. Often occurs on limbs but can be on any part of the body.
  • Signs: if affecting a limb, cellulitis will result in lameness, associated with firm, hot and painful swelling. Serous ooze may be observed. Systemic signs such as pyrexia, anorexia and milk drop may be present and animal may be dull and lethargic.
  • Diagnosis: history, clinical examination, bacterial culture, diagnostic imaging.
  • Treatment: clip and clean; broad spectrum antibiosis; NSAIDs.
  • Prognosis: depends on early and aggressive treatment. Response should occur within 24-48 h.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General

  • Sharp or protruding objects in housing or animal’s environment resulting in a penetrating injury.
  • Attempts to rise following metabolic issues or nerve damage can result in trauma and wound development.
  • Often seen as a sequela to infection of the foot.

Specific

  • Use of poor asepsis or re-using needles when providing parenteral injections.
  • Injection of irritant substances.

Pathophysiology

  • Bacterial entry via skin wounds, eg abrasions
  • Infection develops rapidly and follows tissue planes 
  • May develop into large abscesses that can track along fascial planes.

Timecourse

  • Rapid development of swelling and heat.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

Other sources of information

  • Scott P R, Penny C D & Macrae A I (2011) Cattle Medicine. Manson Publishing Ltd, UK. pp 191.

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