FA GI Diagnostics & GI Surgery Principles

Abdominal contour

For cattle, we talk about apples, pears and papples. This is related to the outline of the fruit (or cow) from behind.

Cattle are usually more pear shaped than anything else.

An apple shaped cow would have distension of GI structures on both the right and left. This is usually due to vagal indigestion and reflects poor motility. The rumen causes the distension on the left and structures such as the cecum and spiral colon distend the right.


Papples can be apple on the right or the left. Right sided distension (apple on the right) is typically cecum and/or spiral colon. Left sided distension is usually rumen.


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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes Copyright © by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.