Managing Bloat on a Small Farm

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jill fischer's picture
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Joined: 03/08/2011 - 3:34pm
Managing Bloat on a Small Farm

After this wonderful rain, the paddocks are full of clover. I am wondering what the signs of bloat are, and treatment? Apart from restricting intake, are there any other things we should be doing?

charlie's picture
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Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 31/05/2011 - 9:44am

Bloat can be seen as a genuine swelling of the animals body on the left hand side, if you are looking at it from the rear. Other symptoms can include erratic breathing, general discomfort and staggering.

If animals have a mild case of bloat, a anti-bloat oil can be poured down the animals throat to clear the gas. In severe bloat cases you should contact your local vet immediately otherwise death could result.

If you have high risk pastures that include large amounts of rapidly growing legumes like clover or lucerne (which it sounds like you do) prevention is always better than cure. There are any number of anti bloat blocks and oils (that you can add to stock water) and capsules that you can use. I would suggest the use of a rumen capsule (the capsule is orally injected using a similar process to drenching), they are slow release lasting for 100 days and are great when you know that the risk of bloat could be ongoing. Anti bloat blocks and oils are also effective however have a higher work requirement then capsules. Animals need to be dosed daily or twice daily with anti bloat oil, or in the case of blocks you are relying on every animal to consume the required amount of the block each day to reduce the bloat, in most cases this never happen.

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