Traumatic reticulopericarditis in a four year old jersey cow

Other Titles


A four-year-old, second lactation, Jersey cow was admitted to the Cornell University Nemo Farm Animal Hospital at 150 days in milk with a 5 day history of progressive depression, fever, heart murmur, dyspnea, anorexia, and decreased milk production that was unresponsive to the antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic therapy prescribed by the referring veterinarian. Upon presentation, she was noted to have a grade 6/6 continuous heart murmur, tachycardia, cold extremities, bilateral jugular distension, bilateral abnormal lung sounds, and abducted elbows. Thoracic ultrasound determined that the pericardial sac contained fluid, fibrin, and air; the lungs were consolidated bilaterally with multiple small abscesses diffusely distributed throughout all lung lobes along with anechoic pleural effusion. A ventral thoracic radiograph revealed a 6.9 cm long, linear, radiopaque foreign body in the region cranial to the reticulum as well as several small gas lucencies consistent with an abscess. Clinical signs and supporting diagnostic evidence were consistent with traumatic reticulopericarditis, and bilateral effusive pleuropneumonia. An exploratory laparotomy and rumenotomy were offered but declined, and euthanasia was advised due to the severity of disease and poor prognosis.

Traumatic reticulopericarditis results from cattle ingesting metallic foreign bodies that penetrate their reticulum and diaphragm and enter into their pericardial sac. Various prevention strategies such as oral magnet administration, feed mixer wagon magnets, and careful pasture and cropland management have been employed to reduce the likelihood of traumatic reticulopericarditis. It remains an important differential diagnosis for cardiac and respiratory disease in cattle in all management systems. Diagnosis is usually made based on clinical signs alone, but ultrasound and radiography can be used to confirm in cases where there is question as to the diagnosis. Other differentials for heart failure in dairy cattle include cardiac lymphoma (bovine leukosis virus), bacterial endocarditis, pulmonary hypertension, caudal vena caval thrombosis syndrome, and idiopathic pericarditis. With the exception of idiopathic pericarditis, cows that develop cardiac disease have a poor to grave prognosis, and euthanasia is advised.

Journal / Series

Volume & Issue



Date Issued




Bovine, traumatic reticulopericarditis, hardware, dairy, heart failure


Effective Date

Expiration Date




Union Local


Number of Workers

Committee Chair

Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Degree Discipline

Degree Name

Degree Level

Related Version

Related DOI

Related To

Related Part

Based on Related Item

Has Other Format(s)

Part of Related Item

Related To

Related Publication(s)

Link(s) to Related Publication(s)


Link(s) to Reference(s)

Previously Published As

Government Document




Other Identifiers


Rights URI


case study

Accessibility Feature

Accessibility Hazard

Accessibility Summary

Link(s) to Catalog Record