Bloat is an over-distention of the rumeno-reticulum with the gases of fermentation.
- Frothy bloat: in the form of a foam mixed with the ruminal contents. This occurs when the gas produced by fermentation is trapped within the mass of ingesta, preventing accumulation of free gas in the uppermost part of the This occurs due to grazing lush legumes (grazing legume or legume-dominant pastures) or winter wheat pastures and also is seen with ingestion of highly concentrated rations.
- Free-gas bloat: in the form of free gas separated from the ingesta. This is a feedlot bloat. This occurs due to physical obstruction of eructation which is caused by esophageal obstruction due to a foreign body (e.g., potatoes, apples, turnips, and kiwifruit), stenosis, or pressure from enlargement outside the esophagus. It can also occurs due to exposure to higher levels of highly concentrated, readily fermentable carbohydrate rations to which the animals are not accustomed. It is common at feedlot farming.
- Commonly begins within 1 hr. after being turned onto a bloat -producing pasture.
- The abdomen is obviously distended suddenly, especially on the left side.
- The entire abdomen is enlarged.
- Signs of discomfort such as “mawing”, grinding their teeth, repeatedly laying down and getting up, laying on their sides, panting, protrusion of the tongue,
- In more serious forms: difficult breathing, difficulty walking or moving, lay on their sides, and extend their legs, with their head and neck extended back over their withers. Death commonly occurs within minutes to hours after these sign is seen.
- In free-gas bloat, the passage of a stomach tube releases large quantities of gas and alleviates distention.
- Make sure to offer baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) free choice so that goats can regulate their rumens on their own. Baking soda aids in balancing the pH level in the rumen and helps to keep the digestive processes in tune.
- Keep animal on feet and moving.
- Massage goat’s sides, especially the left side (rumen) until the goat begins to burp and fart.
- Administer orally ¼-1/3 cup of vegetable/peanut oil.
- If the bloat is really bad, call a vet immediately, because the pressure in the abdomen could stop the lungs and heart from working. The veterinarian will release the gas by making small incision. The incision is made four fingers width behind the bottom of the ribs on the left side of the goat as it lies.
- If the goat is near death, as a last resort, you may try puncturing the rumen with a stabbing action, using a very sharp, pointed knife or preferably a trocar and cannula. Aim for the highest spot on the left side and plunge into the rumen. The danger with this is that the rumen contents and/or dirt from the outside can get between the layers between the rumen; peritoneum and skin can cause a very serious infection called peritonitis. But if the goat in near death, anything is worth trying to save her.
- Restrict grazing time on rapidly growing rich pasture, begin by allowing only about 10 minutes of grazing time on the first day then double this with each subsequent day or administer oil before turning them out on the pasture
- Don’t turn out very hungry goats onto rich pasture; fill them up on hay first.
- To prevent feedlot bloat, rations should contain ≥10–15% cut or chopped roughage mixed into the complete feed. Preferably, the roughage should be a cereal, grain straw, grass hay, or equivalent.
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