In a 12-month-old, male, Montbeliard breed, calf carcass multiple sand-like, roughly granular, whitish,  spherical concretions of crystalline appearance were observed attached to the spleen capsule.

When processing the tissue for histopathology the mentioned structures disappeared (probably dissolved in the fixative). Histologically, there was no inflammatory reaction but the presence of multiple, mostly gram-negative, bacteria was observed.

The study by infrared spectroscopy of the structures reveals that these are ammonium urate calculi.

The findings described in this case have an uncertain origin:

  • On the one hand the absence of inflammation would suggest that the presence of bacteria could be a postmortem contamination of the tissue (the microbiological culture allows to identify: Klebsiella, Proteus, Staphylococcus and Brevibacterium).
  • On the other hand there are no descriptions in calves of the formation of urate crystals or calculi. One hypothesis would be that it was a visceral gout, secondary to hyperuricemia, but this pathology is not described in ruminants, nor would it explain why only the spleen is affected.

If you have found similar lesions, we invite you to comment in the comment section at the end of the post.

Múltiples concrecions esfèriques, solides, blanquinoses adherides a la capsula esplènica.

Multiple spherical, solid, whitish concretions adhered to the splenic capsule.


Detall de les concrecions.

Detail of the concretions.