Veterinary Handbook Disease Finder

Retained Cud


Retained cud is the accumulation of feed between the cheek and molar teeth. Malocclusion of broken, worn or decayed teeth, or deformities of the jaw may be responsible.

Clinical Signs and Diagnosis

Unilateral swelling on one side of the face is noticed. External palpation and examining the inside of the mouth are used to make the diagnosis.


Treatment is by carefully hooking the cud out with a bent finger, while holding the jaws open with the other hand. Recurrence is likely if malocclusion is present. Consider listeriosis as a differential diagnosis due to facial nerve dysfunction.


Screen animals for dental problems during selection. Avoid damaging teeth and gums when administering oral drenches.