Varicose Veins in a Buffalo

Pashu Sandesh, 27 April 2022


1Department  of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, International Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Rohtak, Haryana


Varicose veins are those veins which have lost their valve tonicity and elasticity and no longer control one-way blood flowing in the body. Normally, veins have one-way valves that prevent your blood from back flowing toward the heart. After losing their tonicity, these valves don’t work efficiently and blood starts to accumulate in the superficial vein instead of going to the heart which results in elongation and dilation of veins, approximately 2-3 times their normal diameter, and following an irregular tortuous course under the skin to accommodate their long length. Due to the loss of their elasticity and tonicity, veins become weak and are more prone to rupture. Also, due to poor venous drainage, the superficial vessels get engorged with blood which results in decreased blood perfusion and peripheral local ischemia occurs. In the case of buffalo, the incidence of varicose veins is low and mostly lower hind limbs veins, like saphenous veins, are involved. Some other veins like radial, cephalic, mammary and coccygeal are also affected in the case of ruminants. 


  1. Repeated trauma
  2. Work on a hard surface
  3. Heavy exercise
  4. Proximal occlusion of the vein
  5. Valves insufficiency
  6. Sequel to arteriovenous shunt
  7. Heavy load

Clinical Sign

  1. Dilated, tortuous and elongated superficial veins
  2. Thickened skin of the affected region
  3. Dry cracks and alopecia over the affected skin
  4. Pain in the affected part of the body
  5. Lameness, if lower limb veins are involved
  6. Serosanguinous or blood discharge from the skin cracks


  1. Ligation of the affected blood vessels during their initial stage
  2. A tight bandage on the hind limb for support
  3. A light massage with mustard or olive oil of the affected part
  4. Amputation of the tail, if coccygeal veins are affected
  5. Painkillers and nervine tonic injections
  6. Application of soothing lotions, in case of skin cracks
  7. Tight tourniquets or ligation of the vessel toward the body, in case of rupture of the affected vein


  1. Provide soft bedding to the animal
  2. Avoid excessive workload
  3. Provide proper rest to the draft animal during working
  4. Remove the source of repeated injury, if present