MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Impacted or Infected Oil Gland in Sheep


Marie S. Bulgin

, DVM, MBA, DACVM, University of Idaho

Last full review/revision Dec 2013 | Content last modified Dec 2013

Sheep have a sebaceous (oil) gland in the skin of the interdigital space. A thick, oily, translucent secretion is stored in a small pouch lying between the phalanges and is discharged to the skin surface through a duct in the skin. Occasionally, the gland and its contents are mistaken for an abscess. However, the duct can become occluded, causing distention of the oil pouch. It rarely causes lameness. The oil sac also may become infected, resulting in a local cellulitis or abscess that may be confused with bumblefoot. Expression of the contents by manual pressure relieves impaction. Infected glands can then be treated with local or systemic antibiotics or both, depending on the extent and severity of the infectious process. Unlike bumblefoot, this condition generally responds readily to treatment.

Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Test your knowledge

Musculoskeletal Disorders in Large Animals
A seven-year-old Quarter horse gelding presents with a 1-week history of mild lameness. During the examination, the horse raises his head as he places weight on his left forelimb and drops it when placing weight on the right forelimb. Which limb is most likely affected in this horse?
Become a Pro at using our website 

Also of Interest

Become a Pro at using our website