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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21197
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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What can be a elongated watery sac under the skin on the

Customer Question

what can be a elongated watery sac under the skin on the mid-underbelly near umbilical cord region of pregnant cow
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

When is she due?

Is this a skin covered sac?

Are her gums pink or pale/white?

Any sacs elsewhere (ie under her jaw)?

Has she had any scours?

When was she last wormed and what did you use?

Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not good on i will do the best i can. The sac is somewhat football hangs down at about where her umbilical cord was. she is otherwise healthy. Eating and moving fine. she has not hadscours per my husband (who takes care of her. I cannot answer the worm question..but she was given the shot from the vet to rid a cyst on the ovary which was making getting pregnant in the first place. She was inseminated/caught/pregnant with an EDC 03/16/16. Just wanting to make sure delivery will be ok.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

If you could take a photo of this, I would be grateful since it would allow me to see what you are seeing. As well, if you can tell me how far along she is that would also be helpful.

Otherwise, I can only speculate what you are seeing. And in this case, we do have a few considerations for a fluid filled sac in this region.

First, when we see a fluid filled sac, we do always have to be wary of abscesses. Still, if she has no fever and this can be excluded (since otherwise we may need to treat with antibiotics), we then need to consider issues that cause specifically water like fluids.

Now to start, if it looked like a fluid filled worm, then it is likely the milk vein and that isn’t a worry. Otherwise, if she is very far along, it is possible that the calf’s size is compressing local vessels around the uterus leading to circulatory back pressure and thus fluid leaking into areas of low resistance. Similarly, if she has underlying heart issues, the strain of the calf could also cause vessel back pressure issues. Both of these could risk her health but it would depend how severe and how far along she was.

Further to these, another concern here would be hypoproteinemia. Hypoproteinemia is a condition where the cow’s body doesn’t have enough protein in their circulation and this leads to fluid imbalance in the body. Fluid then leaks to this area and we see pooling of fluid as you are. Causes for this would be chronic diarrhea (less likely here), worms, liver flukes, urinary losses (less likely), and liver dysfunction. So, it is worth seeing if she has been wormed, if the wormer did cover flukes, and to be safe we may need to think about stool testing to make sure no parasites are present (or resistant to the treatments you have been using). As well, if we wanted to be cautious here, you could have her local vet test a blood sample to see if this is a low protein issue +/- for any organ health causes for this.

Overall, her signs do raise a few different concerns here. Therefore, we need to tread with care. If you can post a photo, this could help me narrow down the above concerns. Otherwise, we need to check the worming situation +/- test to determine which of these is present since the latter (and heart issues) could be risky for her.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please remember to rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Trudy,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.