How Do We Treat and Prevent Bloating in Our Cattle

Farmers must know how to do bloat treatment for cattle. Not only in the way of handling, about the signs and symptoms and prevention must also understand it.

This is because bloating in cattle is a disease with a high probability of occurrence.

We must know that bloating in cows occurs in the digestive organs. The digestive organs are directly related to feed. And, the feed is always in contact with cows every day.

Cattle farms that use the same type of feed every day, are less likely to experience bloating. Feed that is usually used is in the form of concentrate, forage or a source of fiber.

The provision and amount of feed has been arranged and scheduled every day. Thus, the risk of bloating in cattle can be anticipated.

This is slightly different from small farms. The type of feed used can be changed every day. Today maybe grass, tomorrow bean straw, rice straw, corn and so on.

Sometimes, time to look for feed is also not always scheduled. Today may look for cattle feed in the morning, the next day, in the afternoon. Who knows.

Feed gives a very big effect on cases of bloating in cattle. Later, we will discuss more about this.

If only we could detect this bloating while still in a mild stage, we could treat it immediately.

However, if it is severe, gas deposits that can not get out will press the heart so that its function is disrupted. Heart disturbed, failed work, and cows will die.

Therefore, let us go further about bloating in this cow.

What is bloating in cattle?

Bloating is excessive gas accumulation in the cattle rumen. Physically, this will make cattle stomach bigger.

Naturally, these gases are indeed formed in the digestive process of cattle. If the digestion is normal, these gases will be released automatically by burping. The scientific term is eructation.

These gases are formed due to the fermentation process of feed carried out by bacteria in the rumen.

If you don’t believe it, just try it. Put em4 (a kind of bacterial fermentation) into a bottle containing molasses. Then close the bottle tightly.

Within 1-2 days, the bottle cap will explode and detach from the neck of the bottle. This is because the gas from the fermentation in the bottle cannot get out, so it builds up and presses the bottle cap upwards.

This simple analogy can be used to understand the process of bloating in cattle. But in cattle, the process is not that simple. But the principle is the same.

Gas in the rumen cattle cannot get out due to several reasons.

First is because the belching of cattle is disturbed. This can happen because of a blockage in the esophagus, cattle are sick (milk fever or tetanus). But this rarely happens.

The closure of the digestive tract that causes cows can not flatus (fart) or can not eructate (belching). For example the presence of coprostasis (stool dries in the rectum), intestinal twisted or bent. Esophageal tract blocked by feed (cassava chunks, etc.).

Second is the layer of foam that is on the rumen cattle, blocking or inhibiting the speed of gas release. Events like this that most occur.

Feeding cattle that is digested very quickly will produce more gas and foam (some say mucus). Thus, this will make the rumen fluid thicker.

This thick rumen fluid will inhibit the release of gas. Finally, cattle become bloated.

Bloating causes in cattle

The average case of bloating in cows is caused by inappropriate dietary regulation.

1. Giving excessive concentrate. Giving excessive concentrates without balanced with the provision of grass (as a source of fiber) can trigger bloating.

2. Forage or wet grass.

3. Excessive feeding of legumes.

4. Provision of easily fermented feed composition with excess amount without fiber balance. For example cassava pulp.

5. Feed material is still in the form of chunks with a size large enough.

6. Experiencing acidosis. Acidosis is consuming too much protein. That is, this can happen because it consumes too much concentrate or legumes.

7. Enlarged lymph nodes between the lungs, which can compress the esophagus or interfere with the function of the vagus nerve.

8. Disease attack.

9. Genetic inheritance. Cows are easily bloated genetically.

Concentrate feed is mixed with high protein ingredients and has a high digestibility rate.

High protein will increase the population of bacteria that exist in the rumen. As a result, because bacteria become more numerous, the gas produced is also more.

Legumes are indeed forage, but the crude protein content is very high.

Some legumes can cause bloating and there are types of legumes that don’t.

Cowpea, Leucaena leucocephala subsp. glabrata, Sesbania grandiflora, and Indigofera do not cause bloating. But Leucaena leucocephala subsp. glabrata has other effects on livestock, such as hair loss.

Legume plants in tropical countries are rarely able to trigger bloating. Unlike the types of forages that exist in sub-tropical countries such as alfalfa, red clover, ladino, and ryegrasses.

Although forage from the tropics is relatively safe, it should still be given in moderation.

Cassava pulp, although the protein content is low, the starch content is very high. This starch is easily fermented and can also make bacteria develop faster.

Cassava is sometimes used to feed cattle as well. Usually chopped first. If the chopping size is too large, it can clog the esophagus.

Symptoms of bloating in cattle

If cows are bloated, surely they feel discomfort in their bodies. Certainly, cows will behave differently than usual.

Supposedly, farmers who are painstaking with their cattle will immediately see the difference in behavior.

Surely this will be seen. Because usually, this cow isn’t like this. Usually, cows eat well and are not restless. But, why this time is different from usual.

These are signs that cows might show when they are bloated.

  • The cow stops eating. Usually, at mealtimes the cows want to eat, but not this time. Or, it can also decrease appetite.
  • Lazy to move.
  • The left abdomen will bulge. In the mild bloating stage, the first time it’s enlarged is the left cow’s abdomen. Later, in the heavy bloating stage, the left and right abdomen are both enlarged. But, the left one is bigger.
  • Cows look stressed. This can happen together with a cow who is lazy to move. Silent and depressed.
  • Groaning is different from usual. This is the cow’s reaction to the pain he feels.
  • Eyes glare wider.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Mouth opens and breathes faster. There are also cases while sticking out his tongue.
  • Stamping his legs and kicking his stomach.
  • Saliva comes out and is foamy.
  • The cow suddenly collapsed.

Surely not all of the above signs will be shown by a bloated cow. Maybe only a few.

But still, if there are signs that cows are not seen, as usual, breeders must pay more attention to their cattle.

But usually, farmers only focus on the shape of the stomach. It is true, the most important sign of bloating is indeed in changes in the abdomen.

As an illustration, we can see the picture below.

bolat on cattle symtons - bloat treatment for cattle

In the picture above, we can see that A is mild bloating, B is moderate bloating and C is heavy bloating.

Mild bloated cow, stomach belly on the left becomes flat. The right abdomen does not. But protrusions of the hip bones are still visible when viewed from behind.

Maybe this will be a little difficult to find out if the condition of the body of a cow that is too fat.

Medium bloating, the left abdomen is bigger than the right. Much bigger. If the right is only flat, the left has shown a much larger swelling.

This can be seen from the swelling of the left abdomen to the backbone.

For heavy bloating, the shape of a cow’s stomach is like a cow pumped when it wants to be skinned. Round and can roll.

When you are at this stage, rest assured that the cow is not strong enough to stand up. Even in a lying position, it looks like the cow has also slipped abysmally.

Let’s see, what can be done and how to do bloat treatment for cattle.

How to treat bloated cows

Bloat treatment for cattle can be done with traditional methods and medically. At least, there are 4 general steps, namely naturally or traditionally, medically with anti-bloat medicine for cattle, stomach tube, and trocarisation.

But, the ability and effectiveness of traditional ways of dealing with bloating in cows is very limited. But no problem. We can still try it. Provided, bloating in cows is still mild bloating and cows are still able to stand up.

Ok, here are some ways to treat bloating in cows traditionally.

1. Give cattle with vegetable oil, coconut oil or peanut oil as much as 250-500 mL. These oils are anti-foaming agents that can help to release gas in the stomach of a cow. Cattle are conditioned to keep moving or assisted by inserting papaya leaf stems through the anus.

2. Give warm vinegar as much as 150 – 300 mL. Cattle must keep moving or assisted by inserting papaya leaf stems through the anus.

3. 200 ml castor oil. Cattle must keep moving or assisted by inserting papaya leaf stems through the anus.

4. Replace fresh grass with dry grass or which has been withered for mild cases of bloating. Also, making the cow keep moving can also help expel gas in the stomach. Placing cattle in the front position higher than the rear can also help release gas in the rumen.

5. Combination of fart leaves and 20 cloves of shallot, finely grated then mixed and added with salt. Enter in a bottle of water, then drink it into the cow. This dose is used for an adult cow.

6. Papaya sap as much as 2 tablespoons, mixed with 1 tablespoon of salt evenly then put in a bottle filled with water and drunk to the cow. This dose is used for a calf.

7. 100 grams of tamarind mixed with 100 ml of water, knead and then filtered. One spoonful of salt is given first to cattle by conditioning the cattle to stand in a raised position, mouth opening then throwing salt with a slight jerk and attempted regarding the pharynx to trigger coughing. Afterward given a tamarind solution until the remaining salt is swallowed. This dose can be given 3 times a day, with a single dose of 100 g of tamarind and 1 tablespoon of salt.

How to treat bloating with bloat medicine for cattle

Medicine for bloated cows is usually the active ingredient Dimethicone or Dimethylpolysiloxane. Giving is mostly done by drinking it to a bloated cow.

bloat treatment for cattle - bloat medicine for cattle

Stomach tube

A kind of hose that will be inserted into the stomach of a bloated cow.

bloat treatment for cattle - stomach tube

The function of this tool is essential to remove excess gas in the cow’s stomach due to severe bloating.

Stomach tube is a method that is widely used to remove gas and pressure from the rumen because it is safer and the trauma left on animals is relatively small.

Stomach Tube (standard size = inner diameter 1.5 – 2.0 cm) is inserted through the mouth with the help of a metal speculum to prevent animals from chewing their tubes.

The work of the Stomach Tube is relatively fast, which is about 1 minute.

Trocarization

This is the last step that should be taken. Because treating with this trocar is arguably the surgical operation step.

So, the implementation must be done by someone who is truly experienced.

Trokar is a tool to make a hole in the cow’s stomach so that the accumulation of gas in the stomach can come out directly. (Actually, the use of trocar is wider not only in the field of cattle health).

Trokar consists of two parts. First is the trocar itself with a pointed tip that functions to bore the stomach. And the second is Cannula.

This cannula is a kind of pipe, tube or barrel on the trocar needle. This cannula has screw threads at the ends.

Trocar and cannula will be thrust together into the belly of a cow. Then, the cannula will be screwed to the belly of the cow so it doesn’t come off. After that, the trocar needle is pulled.

After the trocar is pulled, the cannula will form a duct between the stomach and the outside air. Tara … wow … wow, the gas will come out right away. And the sound is very loud, like gas leaking.

This cannula will be left stuck in the cow’s stomach for – several days. Even up to a week.

This is why this trocar needs to be done by experts so that the treatment process is carried out correctly and does not cause secondary risks such as the onset of infection and others.

It is not recommended to do it alone.

How to prevent bloating in cattle?

Preventing bloating from happening is the best step. Because when bloating has occurred, we will fight with the chances of life and death of livestock.

We will not know what percentage of our chance to be able to save the lives of cows. It could be 90%, 50%, 20%, or even 0%.

How hurtful we are, when we can prevent it but it turns out the bloating case makes one livestock die.

For example, fattening 10 cows and 1 die because of bloating, so during one period of the current business, we will only work voluntarily.

Just imagine. Fattening business that profits 1 million per head, 9 tails means 9 million. Dead even one tail has tens of millions of losses.

Perhaps, the profits from the remaining cows cannot cover the losses due to cows that die from bloating. Even though there are only 1 of them.

Therefore, these are ways to prevent bloating from occurring in cattle.

1. It does not provide fresh forage or legume. This feeding should have been withered for about 3 hours to reduce the water content.

2. Cows may be released into grazing fields during the day. Around 10 o’clock.

3. Give forage in a form that is not too subtle to slow the work of rumen microorganisms.

4. Give probiotics to cattle that have bloated to improve rumen function.

5. Give rice straw and forages such as elephant grass one hour after the cow has eaten the concentrate.

Like that, how to treat bloating in cows. I hope that your cows are all healthy and good luck in raising cattle.

Thanks.

References

[1] http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/animal-diseases/beef-and-dairy-cows/bloat-prevention-in-pasture-fed-beef-cattle

[2] http://www.thecattlesite.com/diseaseinfo/199/bloat-in-cattle/

[3] Rini Nurhayati and Pita sudrajat. Bloating in cattle and how to treat it. Central Java AIAT 2013.

[4] Yanuartono, Sodarmanto Indarjulianto, Alfarisa Nururrozi, Hary Purnamaningsih, and Slamet Raharjo. The role of feed in the occurrence of rumen bloating. Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Gadjah Mada University. Journal of Animal Sciences 28 (2): 141 – 157.

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