Is this hardware?

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Nov 8, 2004
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If not, what is it? Approx 4 year old cow, calved approx 10 days ago (though I don't *think* it's related to calving). She had almost no edema at calving, so what's visible on her underline is entirely a result of the swelling around the brisket. I wasn't aware they accumulate that much fluid in the brisket with hardware, but then the last cow I saw with hardware was almost 11 years ago and I was just a little tyke then. :p What do y'all think?


I've got a video where you can see her moving that I'll try to upload later.
Every cow I've seen with hardware tended to stand humped up in the middle.
Besides the underline and the brisket her chin area looks just as balloonie.
Usually you can see that they are in duress as well. Something is going on there and I doubt it's hardware.
Would a bruised or damaged milk vein cause all of this?

I don't know, sorry . I would get her looked at or email the pic to your vet.
Stuffed heart.

First time a vet told me that I thought he was making it up to cover his back. I know a little more now.
I've only seen the swelling under the jaw with heart issues, but I suppose it's logical that the fluid could fall out/drain to other areas. Can affect young cows.
regolith":1bm2qhpg said:
Stuffed heart.

First time a vet told me that I thought he was making it up to cover his back. I know a little more now.
I've only seen the swelling under the jaw with heart issues, but I suppose it's logical that the fluid could fall out/drain to other areas. Can affect young cows.
Is that the same as congestive heart failure?
Is that the same as congestive heart failure?

I would guess so, you might want a vet to explain the ins and outs. Very vaguely, with heart failure the protein portion of the blood separates out and settles - creating the oedema. So if I see jaw oedema it's usually going to be either Johne's or advanced heart disease. The last one I saw, however, appeared to be the result of an infection which spontaneously recovered. There have been other reasons for jaw edema discussed on these boards (wooden tongue?) but they're not within my sphere of experience, possibly infections that are more likely to arise in the US.

edited to fix code and add: diagnosis would be by blood test, as well as listening to the animal's heart. My last vet thought it might be fairly common for cows to have a mild heart murmur, but as it's not common to check them all we don't know.
thanks for posting this mm, I've never seen anything like this before. I would think with hardware (though I've never actually seen it) that the cow would be showing ill thrift etc, and this cow from the front legs back looks really healthy, good shiny coat, good condition etc. from the front legs forward she looks miserable, and you can see she's not happy. I think the swelling under the jaw is significant - we had a wooden tongue and she swelled under the jaw but not the brisket. I've also had a goat that keeled over, and when I did the autopsy her chest cavity was full and I mean full of fluid, but she didnt present with obvious fluid in the brisket (under the skin).

So, I have absolutely no idea ... can you let us know how she goes and if you find out what it is?
I didn't get the pic of her to my vet, but I did talk to him and he said possibilities for fluid accumulation are - hardware, congestive heart failure, high altitude disease, septicemia/bacteremia, peritonitis, and uterine infection. I'm suspecting I can rule the last three out due to the extent of this fluid accumulation, betting regolith's on the right track.

Here's a video that shows the extreme fluid accumulation through the brisket:

i would say heart failure (or something heart related). high altitude same thing basically. it will definitely go to the brisket and chest never seen it under the belly like that tho. i dont see why hardware with something pressing into the heart wouldnt cause the same or similar effects as full on heart failure.
Had a calf whos brisket swelled up- when it died we posted it and it came back as one of the Clostridial diseases(can't remember which one) . It didn't have the abdominal swelling.
I don't think it's hardware. Hardware usually starts a longer type going down hill effect. This cow appears to have been doing good. How is her milk? Could this be caused by a mammary related disease? If this is heart related, this is probably the best you will see her.
I agree with the general concensus of heart failure, but can't help but wondering if a shot of Lasix isn't worth trying?
I left a bottle of Lasix down at the dairy - don't know how she's doing or if she's still alive. She didn't come through the barn when I milked this morning. I'll give y'all an update when I know how she's doing.
Whats the update on your cow? I had a 8 year old that developed the same symptoms right after calving this spring. Treated for 2 weeks but did no good. Wound up having to put her down. Hope yours is improving.
looks like congestive heart flr. I have seen it many times in the yearling feedlot. It's usually caused by a congenital heart defect or an infection such as hardware diz, endocarditis, etc.. Prognosis often is bad as the animal continues to go downhill and will succoumb to it if not euthanized first. Make sure your vet does a post mortem so you can know the cause for sure.
Although it didn't look near as swelled as your cow, our red poll bull had swelling like this back in the spring....... had the vet out and it was an infection......... vet opened it and let it drain (and it was about a quart or two of some nasty looking stuff..... then he cleaned it out (betadine and water) and gave him a large dose of penicillin.......

For the life of me, I can't think of what he called it...... but it was swelled up in the brisket area and between his front legs (nothing under the belly)

Have you found out what it is that she has MM?
Sorry about the delayed update... cow died. Maybe 4-5 days after the initial post. I checked her over after I'd talked to my vet and she had a normal temp, uterus felt good, lungs sounded normal, couldn't hear the heart. After talking to my vet again - after the cow died - his opinion was that she probably had hardware. That's the update, definitely an interesting case.

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