ABSCESSES in cattle

Who doesn’t love a good abscess?? ⁣

An abscess is a swelling in the body that is filled with pus. Pus is formed out of white blood cells (primarily neutrophils), bacteria, tissue debris, and serum. Cows mount a very robust neutrophilic white blood cell response and form massive abscesses like the one shown. Sometimes, the inside of the abscess will look kind of like a honey comb. ⁣

Depending on what causes the abscess, treatment can be as simple as cleaning and freezing the area then creating a large incision in the skin to allow continuous drainage. Then, the abscess is flushed out with water and antiseptic soap. The incision needs to be large enough to allow the abscess to stay open before the body heals the wound closed. If it closes too quickly before drainage is complete, the abscess will fill up again. ⁣

And, yes. That is my sister dressed in an inflatable t-Rex costume in the background.

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