This condition may involve the gland structure alone, or it may also extend through the fibrous capsule enclosing it.
It is usually attended with more or less internal bleeding. More when the capsule is torn than when it remains intact.
Fig. 111. - Fatty Liver.
These, with the exception of rare examples resulting from external violence, may be said to originate in degenerative changes, by which the gland is rendered soft as the result of its being partly converted into fat from repeated attacks of congestion and other causes.
Rupture of the liver and capsule is attended with more or less considerable bleeding. This will be evidenced by the pale, bloodless appearance of the lining membranes of the eye, the nose, and the mouth. Moreover, the eyes present a bright, glassy appearance, and the pupil is widely dilated; the pulse is quickened and feeble, and ultimately becomes indistinct. The skin and extremities become cold, and later on the animal breaks out into patchy sweats. The upper lip is raised from time to time, the patient sighs, obstinately stands, and later becomes unsteady in his movements. The muscles of the limbs quiver, and ultimately fail to support him, and he falls and dies.
Treatment is of little avail in these cases. We may, however, prescribe such agents as gallic acid, acetate of lead, and per-chloride of iron, turpentine, etc, in the hope of arresting haemorrhage, which is not impossible if the breach has not extended through the capsule. Post-mortem examinations prove that these ruptures may take place without fatal results when the investing membrane of the organ is not broken, and the escaped blood is prevented from passing into the abdominal cavity.