Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Abomasal bloat

Synonym(s): Abomasal tympany, Clostridial abomasitis, Acute Bloat Syndrome

Contributor(s): Matthew Barden , John Tulloch

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Introduction

  • Cause: rapid gas production in the abomasum due to excessive fermentation of simple carbohydrates with over-growth of gas-producing bacteria.
  • Signs: abomasal distension with signs of circulatory compromise.
  • Diagnosis: based on clinical signs which include abomasal distension in pre-weaning calves.
  • Treatment: relieve gas to reduce abomasal pressure, antibiosis to control proliferation of gas-producing bacteria, intravenous therapy as required.
  • Prognosis: guarded, highly dependent on speed of recognition and treatment.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Some but not all cases have a confirmed bacterial involvement. Commonly:

Predisposing factors

General

Specific

  • Calves fed artificial milk replacer, particularly if:
    • Large volumes.
    • Irregular times.
    • Milk is warmer than normal body temperature.

Pathophysiology

  • Reduced abomasal emptying - due to high osmolality, high volume or high glucose content of feed.
  • Presence of gas-producing bacteria which then proliferate (C. perfringens type A, S. ventriculi or Lactobacillus species).
  • Excessive fermentation in abomasum.
  • Gas released by bacteria causes abomasal bloat.
  • Distended abomasum causes compression of major blood vessels and reduces venous return, leads to circulatory shock.

Timecourse

  • Abdominal distension can occur rapidly within 1 hour of feeding.
  • Death can occur within minutes of severe distension or within 6-48 hours depending on the degree of circulatory compromise.

Epidemiology

  • Usually sporadic but can occur as an outbreak; considered endemic on some farms.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Burgstaller J, Wittek T & Smith G W (2017) Invited review: Abomasal emptying in calves and its potential influence on gastrointestinal disease. J Dairy Sci 100, 17-35 PubMed.
  • Marshall T S (2009) Abomasal Ulceration and Tympany of Calves. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract 25, 209-220 PubMed.
  • Van Kruiningen H J, Nyaoke C A, Sidor I F, Fabis J J, Hinckley L S & Lindell K A (2009) Clostridial abomasal disease in Connecticut dairy calves. Can Vet J 50, 857-860 PubMed.
  • Panciera R J, Boileau M J & Step D L (2007) Tympany, acidosis, and mural emphysema of the stomach in calves: report of cases and experimental induction. J Vet Diagn Invest, 19, 392-395 PubMed.
  • Glenn Songer J & Miskimins D W (2005) Clostridial abomasitis in calves: Case report and review of the literature. Anaerobe 11, 290-294 PubMed.
  • Grove-White D H & White D G (1999) Abdominal distension in collapsed diarrhoeic calves: biochemical findings and treatment. Vet Rec 144, 639-642 PubMed.
  • Mills K W, Johnson J L, Jensen R L, Woodard L F & Doster A R (1990) Laboratory Findings Associated with Abomasal Ulcers/Tympany in Range Calves. J Vet Diagn Invest, 2, 208-212 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Constable P D, Hinchcliff K W, Done S H, Grünberg W & Radostits O M (2017) Veterinary Medicine: a Textbook of the Diseases of Cattle, Horses, Sheep, Pigs and Goats. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier.
  • Grant M M (2015) Jubb, Kennedy, and Palmer's Pathology of Domestic Animals. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier.
  • Smith B P (2015) Large Animal Internal Medicine. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier.
  • Parkinson T J, Vermunt J J & Malmo J (2010) Diseases of Cattle in Australasia: a Comprehensive Textbook. Wellington, N.Z.: VetLearn, c2010.


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