Bloat is a condition where the lamb is unable to belch up the gas which is formed in the second stomach (rumen). The pressure will build up until it interferes with the lambs breathing and heart and he can die
1. A distended abdomen, mostly on the left side, high in the flank area is the most common sign.
2. The animal may have difficulty breathing, extend its neck, and even make grunting sounds.
3. Signs of colic may also be present (kicking at abdomen, getting up and down, etc.).
There are two major categories of bloat:
1. Free-gas/Frothy bloat - This type of bloat can be brought on by diets that cause excessive gas production in the rumen and decrease the rumen pH. Diets high in grains, lush legumes, or winter wheat are causes of this problem. This type of bloat can also be caused by poorly digestible feed material and problems with indigestion.
2. Problems that are outside of the rumen - These include choke and position of the animal.
This page was last updated on: November 29, 2007