Calf bloating

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LoveMoo11

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Where I work, we have a 2-3 month old purebred Holstein heifer that has been bloating off and on for the last three days. She didn't get an excess of food, she's not scouring, she has no injuries. She is in an individual pen. We've been tubing her and its been helping but keeps coming back, although it hadn't today when I'd left. What other reasons might there be that she's bloating? Could it have something to do with her rumen developing and just something funky going on with that? The vet looked at her and was mystified. Hopefully it has stopped but I'm curious.
 

hillsdown

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There might be more going on internally that you will now find out until she dies and you do a PM.

I had a twin Holstein heifer that bloated at 2 months old, we did everything (me and vet) we could think of. She would be good one day, bad the next, it went on until she was 3 months old when she got really really bloated and died in my lap as we rushed her to the vet clinic.

Had a PM done and it turned out her main artery was not connected to her liver..She was living on love and borrowed time. Very sad ,her twin died as a fresh heifer from pneumonia later,the new owners didn't know how cold Alberta gets in the winter.. :roll:

I hope your heifer just had an off day and is good to go now... :) Good luck..
 

BeefmasterB

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LoveMoo11":1jypcbpg said:
Where I work, we have a 2-3 month old purebred Holstein heifer that has been bloating off and on for the last three days. She didn't get an excess of food, she's not scouring, she has no injuries. She is in an individual pen. We've been tubing her and its been helping but keeps coming back, although it hadn't today when I'd left. What other reasons might there be that she's bloating? Could it have something to do with her rumen developing and just something funky going on with that? The vet looked at her and was mystified. Hopefully it has stopped but I'm curious.

Have the vet check the cows milk and also how often or infrequent the calf nurses. You might also try a different water just to see if it changes anything.

From Merricks: "Factors contributing to abomasal bloat include overfeeding milk or feeding milk too fast. In the presence of fermenting bacteria, a large quantity of milk or milk replacer arriving at the abomasum can provide an excellent substrate for these bacteria to grow rapidly and ferment sugars. Excessive gas is produced as a result of this rapid fermentation. The pH of the abomasum becomes more acidic as these sugars are processed, resulting in a detrimental effect on other bacteria. The end result is overproduction of gas that cannot escape." "The common element found throughout all cases of bloat is microbial fermentation of energy sources resulting in the production of gas that is unable to escape."
 
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LoveMoo11

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BeefmasterB":40hkpys2 said:
LoveMoo11":40hkpys2 said:
Where I work, we have a 2-3 month old purebred Holstein heifer that has been bloating off and on for the last three days. She didn't get an excess of food, she's not scouring, she has no injuries. She is in an individual pen. We've been tubing her and its been helping but keeps coming back, although it hadn't today when I'd left. What other reasons might there be that she's bloating? Could it have something to do with her rumen developing and just something funky going on with that? The vet looked at her and was mystified. Hopefully it has stopped but I'm curious.

Have the vet check the cows milk and also how often or infrequent the calf nurses. You might also try a different water just to see if it changes anything.

From Merricks: "Factors contributing to abomasal bloat include overfeeding milk or feeding milk too fast. In the presence of fermenting bacteria, a large quantity of milk or milk replacer arriving at the abomasum can provide an excellent substrate for these bacteria to grow rapidly and ferment sugars. Excessive gas is produced as a result of this rapid fermentation. The pH of the abomasum becomes more acidic as these sugars are processed, resulting in a detrimental effect on other bacteria. The end result is overproduction of gas that cannot escape." "The common element found throughout all cases of bloat is microbial fermentation of energy sources resulting in the production of gas that is unable to escape."

She never nursed, I work at a dairy so the calves get colostrum through a bottle or tube and then are fed milk replacer. She was weaned at 45 days.
 

hillsdown

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LoveMoo11":38ir9p9r said:
She never nursed, I work at a dairy so the calves get colostrum through a bottle or tube and then are fed milk replacer. She was weaned at 45 days.

Maybe that is the problem she might have been physically immature (internally) compared to her contemporaries and perhaps her abomasum was not developed enough at the time of her weaning..
 

BeefmasterB

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O.k.. Unless there something wrong with it physically then the problem is still most likely caused by an organism in the digestive system. And, like you already mentioned, it could be as a result of digestive development. The following mightoffer some ideas:

"Rumen development - conditions for bloat. Ruminal bloat in young calves takes place within the context of the developing rumen. The population of rumen microbes that exists at any point in time is determined by the types of feed consumed as well as other substances commonly ingested such as bedding and hair. The right set of circumstances can allow one or more of these microbes to produce excessive gas and bloat in the developing rumen. Rumen development begins in earnest when water and dry feed come together in the rumen. To assure adequate development, a dry starter feed should be made available as soon as the calf is placed on milk or milk replacer. Intake of starter will be low until the calf is a couple of weeks old, but it is still of major importance to rumen development. Butyric and propionic acids are volatile fatty acids (VFA) that are produced from grain digestion. Although butyric acid has the greatest effect, both stimulate rumen development. Feeding hay on the other hand, produces another VFA, acetic acid, which provides poor stimulation for rumen development. Since hay is not required for rumen development prior to weaning, it should be withheld from the diet until after the calf is weaned. When dry feed is consumed, it enters the rumen. For bacterial growth and feed digestion to occur, a liquid environment is needed. Since milk and milk replacer contain such a readily digestible and fermentable energy source, it is preferable that they stay out of the rumen. The esophageal groove directs milk to the abomasum preventing it from directly entering the rumen. When milk persistently flows into the rumen, calves may develop a number of symptoms including unthriftiness, growth retardation, poor appetite, abdominal distention, recurrent bloat, hard feces and a long dry hair coat. Calves that are restricted to a liquid diet, such as veal calves, are more likely to develop these symptoms. Since the esophageal groove may still be present for a while after milk feeding, water fed immediately after milk usually passes directly to the abomasum. For water to enter the rumen and facilitate feed digestion and rumen development, it must be fed separately from milk and milk replacer. A minimum of 10 minutes has been suggested as the necessary waiting period before offering water after milk feeding. Even so, water added to a bucket that still contains some milk or milk replacer may stimulate reformation of the esophageal groove. The general recommendation is to feed 4 pounds of water (2 qt) for every pound of dry feed consumed."
 
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LoveMoo11

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hillsdown":27qmplml said:
LoveMoo11":27qmplml said:
She never nursed, I work at a dairy so the calves get colostrum through a bottle or tube and then are fed milk replacer. She was weaned at 45 days.

Maybe that is the problem she might have been physically immature (internally) compared to her contemporaries and perhaps her abomasum was not developed enough at the time of her weaning..

we wean all the calves at 45 days as long as they are eating their grain and hay well, which she has been up until now (she is still eating plenty of hay but we have stopped giving her grain until this gets cleared up)
 

FarmGirl10

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LoveMoo11":1rrcnd00 said:
hillsdown":1rrcnd00 said:
LoveMoo11":1rrcnd00 said:
She never nursed, I work at a dairy so the calves get colostrum through a bottle or tube and then are fed milk replacer. She was weaned at 45 days.

Maybe that is the problem she might have been physically immature (internally) compared to her contemporaries and perhaps her abomasum was not developed enough at the time of her weaning..

we wean all the calves at 45 days as long as they are eating their grain and hay well, which she has been up until now (she is still eating plenty of hay but we have stopped giving her grain until this gets cleared up)
LM11, that's typically when they are weaned in our area too. When/if you find out what's going on with her, please post, because I have seen it before and never knew why.
 

BeefmasterB

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FarmGirl10":ozjwc33s said:
LM11, that's typically when they are weaned in our area too. When/if you find out what's going on with her, please post, because I have seen it before and never knew why.

What was the result of the case you saw?
 

angus9259

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had a fair calf do that every time the feed got to rich . . . "chronic bloater" . . . it's just what they do. didn't want to send it to the sale barn and give someone else my problem so I took it easy on him till he was big enough to slaughter. never made the fair obviously
 

FarmGirl10

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BeefmasterB":257wi96z said:
FarmGirl10":257wi96z said:
LM11, that's typically when they are weaned in our area too. When/if you find out what's going on with her, please post, because I have seen it before and never knew why.

What was the result of the case you saw?
Still living, she just goes in spurts. One day she'll be fine,then she'll blow up like a balloon. With no changes to diet, or the amount of other animals with her.

By any chance does she happen to be eating her beding? Typically after I bed the cattle down with straw they will eat it (because it's something different) and bloat real badly. You might want to watch for this.
 

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