19 September, 2008
Bloat occur when rumen gas production exceeds the rate of gas elimination. Gas then accumulates causing distention of the rumen. The skin on the left side of the animal behind the last rib may appear distended.
Although bloat is often classified as being either pasture or feedlot bloat, it is probably more accurate to identify it as being either free-gas bloat or frothy bloat. Frothy bloat is1234 more common in cattle eating legumes or lush grass than in feedlot cattle. Free-gas bloat is more common in feedlot cattle.
In situations of foamy or frothy bloat, gas production is not greatly increased but the gases are trapped in the foam. Frothy bloat in feedlots usually develops slowly over several weeks and often become chronic. Poloxalene is an effective "deformer" for frothy bloat.
Many of the same factors causing acidosis are associated with free-gas bloat. Therefore proper bunk management and other preventative measures should be practiced for prevention of bloat.
Free-gas bloat can usually be relieved by inserting a 3/4" rubber hose into the rumen via the esophagus. If "hosing" does not give immediate relief, a defoaming agent (poloxalene) should be administered through the hose to break the surface tension of the ingesta. A pint of mineral oil is also a defoamer. Drenching should be avoided because of the danger of inhalation by the bloated animal which can cause immediate death or lead to pneumonia. A trocar should be used as a last resort. Chronic bloaters should be shipped for slaughter.
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