A captive Malayan tapir was observed to have inappetence, weight loss, signs of depression, mild dehydration and diarrhoea. Haematological and serum biochemical tests showed anaemia, hypoproteinaemia, hyperfibrinogenaemia and neutrophilia with a left shift. Ultrasonic examination of the abdomen under anaesthesia revealed a well-encapsulated abscess. The abscess was marsupialised to the ventral body wall. Culture of the pus produced a mixed bacterial growth. Antimicrobial therapy was based on bacterial sensitivity results. Follow-up ultrasonic examinations showed resolution of the abscess. Ninety-one days after surgery the tapir began regurgitating food and water. An abscess originating from the stomach and occluding the lumen of the duodenum was identified at surgery. The abscess ruptured during surgical manipulations and the tapir was euthanased.