Cecal infarction in neonatal calves: a retrospective study

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Cecal infarction is an uncommon lesion in calves that results in localized peritonitis and, on occasion, perforation with secondary diffuse peritonitis and death. This lesion in calves has not been described previously. We reviewed the postmortem cases of cecal infarction in dairy calves ≤30 d of age that had been submitted over the course of 5 y to the Tulare branch of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System. The area of cecal infarction and the associated lesion margins were examined histologically. Ischemic necrosis of the mucosal side of the cecal wall with various degrees of neutrophilic inflammation of subjacent tissues was found consistently, and thrombosis and vascular occlusion within the areas of necrosis and inflammation was found in 21 of 34 cases. Cecal infarction cases were then compared to controls using a retrospective matched case-control study design. Cases (n = 34) and controls (n = 86) were compared with respect to bacteremia (as defined by pure culture of a single bacterial agent from lung and/or liver), species of bacteria isolated, and for the presence of K99 Escherichia coli (calves ≤5 d), attaching and effacing E. coli, Cryptosporidium (calves ≥5 d of age), Salmonella isolation from the intestine, rotavirus, Bovine coronavirus, and Bovine viral diarrhea virus. In addition, the presence of rumenitis or abomasitis, and omphalitis were compared between cases and controls. There were no significant differences in ruminal, abomasal, or umbilical cord tissue inflammation, or pathogen test–positive status between cases and controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-244
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Calf
  • cecal infarction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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