Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Skin abscess

Synonym(s): Pus, pyoderma, infection, lance, trueperella pyogenes

Contributor(s): Catherine Fraser , Ben Dustan

Introduction

  • Cause: usually Trueperella pyogenes (previously known as: Corynebacterium pyogenes).
  • Signs: swelling subcutaneously.
  • Diagnosis: aspiration.
  • Treatment: surgical drainage, flushing, debridement and possible antibiotic therapy.
  • Prognosis: good.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Most commonly following trauma, surgery, injections or local infections.
  • Trueperella pyogenes Trueperella pyogenes is the most common cause of skin absesses in cattle. Other skin contaminants include: Fusobacterium necrophorum Fusocbacterium necrophorum, Streptococci spp Streptococci spp, Staphylococcus spp Staphylococcus spp, and Clostridium spp Clostridium spp.
  • Other bacteria seen are occasional actinobacillosis Actinobacillosis (carried in normal animals).
  • In umbilical abscesses may see Trueperella pyogenes, Staphylococcus spp, Escherichia coli Escherichia coli, Proteus.
  • Chronic abscesses may follow some injections eg calcium borogluconate, antibiotics.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Wound contamination.

Specific

  • Poor injection technique eg popliteal abscesses after intramuscular injections into the rump Sciatic injury.
  • Poorly hygienic conditions at birth leading to umbilical infections Neonatology: umbilical disorders.
  • Incorrect treatment of navels at birth (use tincture of iodine as antiseptic and drying due to alcohol content).

Pathophysiology

  • Wounds caused by multiple external traumatic events eg ear tagging, vaccination, rough handling, fighting, overcrowding, contact with faulty equipment, foreign bodies, plant awns and thorns.
  • Wounds become secondarily infected by bacteria from soil, faeces, resident skin bacteria or oral bacteria by licking.

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

  • Andrews A H (1997) Royal Veterinary College Skin Diseases of Farm Animals. Modular Course, Module 2.


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