Bloat in cattle and sheep

NSW DPI - Dr Graham Bailey

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Introductory

Farm Table says:

Know the ins and outs of bloat in sheep and cattle so you can identify it early. Particularly interesting to note that early detection can avoid costly vet bills or loss of stock.

This fact sheet provides detailed information about bloat in sheep and cattle, common symptoms and what prevention and treatment methods can be used.

The items covered in this article are:

• What is bloat?

• The signs of bloat in sheep and cattle

• Treatment of bloat in cattle

• Treatment of bloat in sheep

• How to prevent bloat

• Products available to prevent and treat bloat

Key points were as follows:

• Ruminant animals such as sheep and cattle produce large amounts of gas so the effect of eating fresh pastures such as clover, medics or lucerne can cause a build-up of gas internally and this is what causes bloat.

• Signs of bloat include swollen abdomen (left-hand side), not grazing, lethargic, distressed, tounging, staggering and not urinating or eliminating waste.

• Bloat in the early stages can be treated by producers however any mild or severe cases require veterinary attention as it can cause death in sheep and cattle.

• Prevention of bloat is a key management practice to avoid unnecessary vet bills or death in livestock. It is important to use anti-bloat lick blocks, anti-bloat drench, bloat oil in livestock water supply, restrict overgrazing of lush pastures by using methods such as strip grazing and provide alternate feed such as hay so feeding can be mixed.

2014 - Australia - NSW DPI - Dr Graham Bailey
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