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Bloat is a noninfectious disorder characterized by gaseous distension of the reumen and reticulum observed on the left side of a dairy animal. If the disorder is not treated soon, death can occur. Two common types are legume and feedlot (grain) bloat.

Legume or pasture bloat is linked to substances in feed which form a stable foam or interfere with nerve reflexes that accompany belching. A lack of coarse forage needed to stimulate eructation, can also contribute to bloat occurrence. Excessive consumption of feed can cause rumen compaction and limit eructation gases. Feed bloat is usually seen in feedlot animals that are on high concentrate diets.

Diagnostic Signs:
Excessive gas is seen as a bulging on the left side of the animal. Labored breathing, frequent urination and some defecation is observed with acute bloat.

Administration of antifoaming agents. To release gas walls are punctured above the rumen contents. A rumenotomy (the body and


rumen on the left side slightly forward and down from the hipbone) can be performed if the animal is severely bloated. A trocar and canula is recommended so that gas can escape and liquid does not drain internally causing peritonitis.

Preventive Measures:

  • Reducing the level of legume in the diet or pasture

  • Feeding some wheat straw or grass hay prior to parturition

  • Supplementing the diet with ploxaline, a nonionic surfactant, to prevent bloat, or with monensin, an ionophore, which is used as bloat preventive in some countries, is administered per oss as a slow release capsule.


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