Bloat has been reported to be a problem this spring with cattle grazing lush pastures. Good growing conditions for white clover have resulted in pastures containing large amounts of clover and limited precipitation has slowed grass growth.
Cattle are consuming greater quantities of clover due to the short grass, resulting in conditions promoting legume bloat or frothy bloat.
Similar conditions also can occur when grazing wheat. Prevention of frothy bloat is best accomplished by planning in advance.
Unlike gaseous bloat commonly associated with high grain diets, frothy bloat is more difficult to relieve using the esophageal tube approach. Frothy bloat associated with grazing is often the result of consuming forages that are high in soluble protein combined with rapid fermentation. This produces a stable foam in the rumen, blocking the normal escape of the gas from fermentation through eructation or belching. This build up of gas results in rumen distention similar to blowing up a balloon, which can impact the animal’s ability to breath normally due to pressure against the diaphragm.
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