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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Wee Little Bit of Bloat

Verb - Make or become swollen with fluid or gas.
Noun - A disease of livestock characterized by an accumulation of gas in the stomach.

That is today's Rancher Girl Social Media Topic.

I'm on vacation, and thank goodness I am!
We've got a little gal suffering with bloat.

She is a wee little bit, maybe all of 300 pounds.
She should probably still be nursing on her mother.
She came in a package deal with a group of young ladies purchased for Miss B.
(I will blog about that purchase at a later date.)

Wee Little Bit has been doing fine.
She has been eating hay and grain, for almost a month.
She has held her own with the larger calves.
She has shown no signs of distress.

 Bloat can easily occur, in cattle, when there is a change in food supply, water source, different type of hay, and even temperature change.

On Sunday, there was a significant temperature change.
That's when Wee Little Bit had a set back.

She bloated!

Cattle have 4 stomach chambers.
The rumen is the largest  stomach.
Most bloat occurs in the rumen.

Gas builds up and the bovine can't pass it.
It is easy to see, as the left side of the cow will be extended.
They will often have very rounded, balloon like, mid sections.
It will be high along their backs.
The pressure can cause distressed breathing.
If not addressed, the animal can die.

When we went out to feed the calves, 
Wee Little Bit didn't get up to come to the feed bunk.
Upon first observance of her,
"She's bloated!"

I quickly mixed baking soda and warm water into the drench bottle.
Flower Boy gathered necessary preventive medications.

We headed back to the pens.
Got Wee Little Bit into the chute, and placed the soda water down her throat.
 We let her out and walked her up and down the alley.
After several trips up and down the alley,
Her mid section looked like a hot air balloon!
She started bawling and struggling.
Flower Boy:
"Babe, I think we are losing her!"
"Get a needle in her!"
Taylor, Drewman's girlfriend, ran to his truck, grabbed a 3/4" 16ga needle, and it was inserted in Wee Little Bit's mid section, directly behind her rib cage.
I ran to the house for a longer needle.

As a rancher, you always have necessary items on hand for any type of emergency.

I arrived back at the pens, with the 1 1/2" needle, just as Wee Little Bit was being relieved of the pressure.

We placed a bottle of bloat medicine down her throat, with the drench bottle, and headed into the house for a few hours.
Upon recheck, Wee Little Bit was much better.

Monday and Tuesday, we administered her doses of probiotics.
She was taken off grain, and has had dry hay and fresh water.

This morning, Wee Little Bit started bloating again!
I inserted the 1 1/2" needle, and called Flower Boy to bring more bloat medicine.

More meds have been administered.
Wee Little Bit has walked, moved and rested all afternoon.

As for me, I have spent more time in the pen, with her, than I normally would.
I'm a wee little bit worried about her!

She is still bloated, but in less distress.

Flower Boy will be home in a wee little bit.

We will insert a tube, down her throat, into her stomachs.
This will release the gas that the needle can't get.
We will also place mineral oil into the tube.
This will help in keeping the gas down and somewhat coat Wee Little Bit's stomachs.

All on a vacation day!
And people wonder why we don't leave the ranch much.
Things happen!
It's the life we live!
It's the life I love!
There is no other place I would rather be!!

Rancher Girl