Bloating in cattle (definition, types, symptoms, prevention and treatment)

Bloating in cattle (definition, types, symptoms, prevention and treatment)

Bloating is short tern gastrointestinal disease characterized by an excess buildup of gas, air or fluids in the stomach causing a feeling of tightness, pressure or fullness in the stomach.

Types of bloats

  1. Free-Gas Bloat: This occurs when the esophagus becomes obstructed by incompletely processed or chewed feeds (such as potatoes, beets, apples, turnips) or hay twine. Lack of rumen motility (caused by nerve damage, acidosis, or hypocalcemia) can also lead to free-gas bloat.
  2. Frothy Bloat: In this type, a stable foam forms in the rumen, trapping gases within the rumen liquid phase. The foam obstructs the esophagus, preventing gas release. Factors like feed intake, roughage coarseness, and grain digestion affect frothy bloat.

Signs of Bloat:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Distention of the distention of the abdomen,
  • Feeling fullness, pressure, uncomfortable/distress
  • Rectal protrusion.
  • Difficulty breathing due to pressure on the diaphragm.
  • The animals stands with its legs spread wide apart and its head extended forward
  • The animal lies down and fails to stand up due to distress.


  • control the quantity of succulent feeds and young lush pasture the animal feed
  • carry out an oil drench using any vegetable oil
  • use stomach-tube to release gas from the stomach
  • allow animals consume good quality roughage before grazing on lush or younger grass
  • exercising the animal
  • avoid giving the animal cassava, excess grain and protein concentrate


  • Insert a large-diameter horse or tube into animals’ mouth to allow gas to escape from the rumen
  • Administer an anti-foaming agent, cooking oil or beer to stop production of acids
  • use of trocar or cannula to puncture the lumen to allow escape of gases
  • exercising the animal
  • Use of broom stick method i.e. wooden rod is inserted across the mouth to keep the mouth open to allow escape of gases from the rumen

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Dr. Bbosa Science

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