Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Traumatic reticulitis

Synonym(s): Wire, hardware disease, traumatic reticuloperitonitis, TRP

Contributor(s): Sophie Mahendran , Paul Wood

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Introduction

  • Cause: perforation of the reticulum, usually by a sharp metallic object, such as a wire.
  • Signs: GI stasis, thoracic or abdominal pain, reduced milk yield.
  • Diagnosis: ultrasound of the cranioventral abdomen, rumenotomy.
  • Treatment: insertion of reticular magnet, rumenotomy, antibiotics and NSAIDs.
  • Prognosis: guarded - depends on extent of object penetration.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Sharp metal objects, typically wire (from the inner wall of tyres ) or nails, are ingested by the cow.
  • Can occur as cows do not completely masticate their food before swallowing.
  • The object either falls directly into the reticulum after ingestion, or is pushed into the reticulum by ruminal contractions.
  • The object doesn’t pass out of the reticulum as the reticulo-omasal opening is not at the most distal point, and objects get trapped in the honeycomb structure.
  • The object penetrates the reticulum wall due to reticular contractions leading to leakage of bacteria and ingesta.
  • Peritonitis develops producing reticular abscesses and adhesions.
  • The object may penetrate the diaphragm and enter the lung:
    • Lung abscess.
    • Pleuritis.
  • The object may penetrate the pericardium:
  • The object may occasionally penetrate the liver or spleen:
    • Abscessation.
    • Septicemia.

Pathophysiology

  • Initial penetration of the reticulum, or breakdown of existing adhesions around an object allowing further movement can occur due to:
    • Compression of the ruminoreticulum by the uterus in late pregnancy.
    • Straining during parturition.
    • Mounting during estrus.
  • Initial acute peritonitis can be followed by chronic local peritonitis with localized adhesions
    • This can present as cows just having vague signs of ill health with poor production.
  • Rarely, diffuse generalized peritonitis can occur, especially following breakdown of previously formed adhesions.

Timecourse

  • Generally acute disease over 24 hours.
  • Possible to have more vague signs of ill health with chronic disease processes.

Epidemiology

  • Generally individual animals affected, but can get herd outbreaks - for example, if a whole tyre is accidentally chopped up in the feed wagon.

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

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Braun U (2009) Ultrasonography of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Cattle. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice, 25 (3) 567-590
  • Orpin P & Harwood D (2008) Clinical management of traumatic reticuloperitonitis in cattle.
  • Braun U, Fluckiger M & Gotz M (1994) Comparison of ultrasonographic and radiographic findings in cows with traumatic reticuloperitonitis.
  • Fraser C M (1961) Conservative treatment of traumatic reticulitis. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 2 (2) 65-68 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Roger W,  Blowey A & David Weaver (2011) Chapter 4 - Alimentary disorders, Color Atlas of Diseases and Disorders of Cattle. 3rd edn. pp 53-82.

Organisation(s)

  • The University of Edinburgh.


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