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Flashcards in Cow with Abdominal Problems Deck (31)

What is the normal pH range of the rumen and what is the main VFA produced at this pH?

6.2 - 7. Acetate is the predominant VFA produced and is the fat in milk.


What is a normal percentage for milk fat? And what do changes indicate?

4-4.2% Lower than this may indicate an acidic rumen.


How do changes to the cow diet lead to rumen acidosis, describe the products produced at each stage.

High sugar and starch changes which bacteria are fermenting things leading to lower pH. Propionate and butyrate are produced by organisms that tolerate lower pH and even lower then Lactate is produced which results in rumen acidosis and stasis.


How can salivation affect rumen pH and how is adequate salivation encouraged?

It contains bicarbonate ions. The need a high fibre diet and to lie down for 14 hours a day in comfortable housing.


What things can cause acute rumen acidosis?

Sudden ingestion of fermentable carbohydrates e.g.
-breaking into feed stores
-concentrate over-feeding
-sudden lack of forage or straw bedding
-ground rather than rolled food


What are some of the clinical signs of acute rumen acidosis?

Dull/recumbent cow
Anorexia, dehydration, blind
Laminitis - crossed feet.
Rumen stasis and abdominal distension


What is the treatment for acute rumen acidosis?

5% Sodium Bicarbonate slowly i.v. 5L/450kg over 30 mins
Isotonic NaCl 150ml/kg 6-12hours
Oral Magnesium hydroxide 500g/450kg
Rumenotomy/Rumen Lavage


What is SARA?

Sub acute rumen acidosis


What are some of the signs of SARA in a herd?

Low milk fat/reduced milk yields
Reduced appetite
Liver abscesses
Heamoptysis & Epistaxis (repeated cases of this in a herd indicate very highly that it is SARA
High herd culling rate


What are the clinical signs of bloat?

-Distension of the left flank (greater distension = more severe bloat)
-Sudden death in severe cases
-May be recumbent or standing quietly with distended left flank.


How do cows get frothy bloat?

Foaming properties of soluble leaf proteins. Caused by:
-rich lush pasture
-(cereal rich diets)


What is the treatment for frothy bloat?

1. Remove animals from the source of the problem ASAP
2. Treat orally with anti-foaming agent/surfactant
- Poloxalene 25-50g
- 500ml mineral oil
- Simethicone 100ml.

Sit in sternal recumbancy


How can rapid intakes of lush pasture be prevented?

Use strip grazing or buffer feeding to prevent rapid intakes.


What are the causes of free gas bloat?

Excessive carbohydrates
Oesophageal obstruction (Choke)
Milk Fever
Lateral recumbancy
Oesophageal groove lesions (vagus indigestion or actinobacillus)
Enlarged mediastinal LNs (after pneumonia)


What is the treatment for free gas bloat?

Stomach tube
Rumen Puncture


Describe where to place a trocar.

Make an upside down equilateral triangle between the wing of the ileum and the top of the last rib and poke it straight into the middle.


What is important to remember when performing a rumenotomy?

Stitch the rumen to the body wall to prevent leakage of gut contents into the peritoneal cavity.


What can traumatic reticulo-peritonitis, or 'hardware' disease, lead to?

Local/diffuse peritonitis
Liver abscess


If hardware disease is seen in lots of animals on a farm, what could be a possible cause?

TMR wagons that have somehow got wire in.


What are some of the clinical signs of traumatic reticulo-peritonitis?

Usually vague:
-Drop in milk yield
-reduced appetite
-high temp
-arched back
-reduced rumenal contraction rate
-jugular pulse
-splashing sounds over heart


What are the diagnostic tests for hardware disease?

Withers Pinch
Pole test
Eric-Williams test


What are the treatments for hardware disease, which is a likely option?

Tie up cow with feet off the ground and treat with parenteral antibiotics and analgesia
Slaughter (this one likely as it is hard to treat)


What can cause abdominal pings?

Abomasal volvulus
Caecal dilation and torsion
Gas in the spiral colon


In what group of cows does LDA often occur?

High producing dairy cows within 6 weeks of calving


What things seem to cause LDA?

They are poorly understood but:
-poor management over transition period (dry to calving)
-high concentrate diet
-insufficient fibre
-diet changes made too quickly
-milk fever
-genetic factors


What is a cardinal sign of LDA?

Cow going off concentrates but wanting to eat forage.


What are the rarer causes of left sided pings?

Rumen Collapse
Vagal Indigestion


What is the major complication of RDA and what is the prognosis?

Abomasal torsion of volvulus
Poor prognosis unless operated on immediately. Often slaughter.


How can caecal dilation be diagnosed?

Rectal examination will find caecal apex protruding through pelvic inlet
May also have a ping at right paralumber fossa


How is caecal dilation or volvulus treated?

Dilation - fluids and high fibre diet. Possibly surgery if persists

Volvulus - drain surgically.


Is gas in the spiral colon significant?

No but it often leads to right sided pings.