- Bloat is a form of indigestion marked by excessive accumulation of gas in the rumen.
- Bloat can occur when the animal grazes on lush young pasture, particularly if the pasture is wet. Some plants, e.g. clover, lucerne and alfalfa are especially dangerous in causing bloat but any fast growing plants can cause it.
- Choking due to foreign objects (esophageal obstruction) will also cause bloat by preventing gas release and causing accumulation of gas in the rumen.
- Sometimes feeding of leftover food such as dry bread can cause bloat.
SYMPTOMS OF BLOAT
- The left flank balloons out.
- The animal kicks its belly or stands with its back legs wide apart
- It has difficulty in breathing.
- In severe cases, death occurs due to asphyxiation.
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
- Avoid moving animals to wet pasture in the morning.
- Do not allow very hungry animals to graze a pasture. Offer dry, cut grass first before turning out to graze.
- Home remedies may be used in mild cases.
- In severe cases, puncturing the left flank with a sharp knife to release the gas is necessary, it will be necessary for you to act quickly as any hesitation could lead to the death of the animal.
Timely treatment of bloat will save your animal