Cow’s flatulence and solutions to solve it

Cow flatulence occurs when gases cannot escape, accumulate and cause the abdomen to become excessively flatulence. In some cases, this situation is resolved, but in some cases, it is not. If humans do not intervene in solving this problem, this situation may worsen and put pressure on the heart and lungs to such an extent that the animal cannot breathe and suffocates.

An enlarged abdomen (left side of the abdomen) is one of the most well-known symptoms of cow bloat, but it is usually accompanied by symptoms such as kicking the abdomen, frequent standing and sitting, dragging of the body, and difficulty breathing. There are other diseases that can show some of these symptoms and it is necessary and should be separated from each other. If an animal appears healthy and suddenly begins to show signs of bloat, it likely has bloat. Non-experts say it looks like the trap has swallowed a balloon that is about to burst.

Bloating is more common in calves whose rumen is not fully developed as their duodenum becomes distended from gas or fluids.

In general, after consuming food by cows, the cattle should burp 2 to 4 times per minute to expel the gases in the cow’s rumen, otherwise it will cause flatulence, which over time will cause  disturbances in the digestive and respiratory systems of the cattle and may lead to loss of livestock.

As a result of digestive fermentation by living microorganisms in the rumen, a large amount of ammonia gas, carbon dioxide and methane are created. These gases usually come to the upper part of the rumen, where they are expelled by the belching reflex.

Burping is the opening of the cardia sphincter (the connection point between the esophagus and the rumen) and the release of some of the gases produced in the rumen through the esophagus and mouth, which if this action is interrupted for any reason

It causes the accumulation of these gases in the rumen and as a result causes flatulence.

There are two types of flatulence

A) Flatulence gassy

This type of flatulence is due to the paralysis of the cardia sphincter due to the toxic substances in some plants (such as hydrocyanic acid) or its closing due to the abnormal accumulation of the rumen, the gas produced is collected in the upper part of the rumen and is unable to exit.

B) Flatulence foam

Another type of cow flatulence, which is very dangerous, is flatulence. Flatulence foam is not usually caused by eating stored forage, but you need to be aware of it. In this type of flatulence, the gas is trapped in the form of small bubbles in the middle of the digested food masses.

An animal with flatulence foam cannot belch because there is no gas mass in the hind rumen. In this case of flatulence, the use of a stomach tube is not effective because there is foam inside the rumen and if you wait until the last moment, no gas will come out of the tube, which means that the animal has very little time and enough time for the veterinarian to arrive to perform There are no necessary measures.

Once the stomach tube is in the rumen, it is possible to inject products such as vegetable oil or petroleum jelly into the stomach tube to break up the bubbles so that they become larger gas masses. In such cases, this is a standard treatment, but it may not be enough.

In severe cases of breathing problems (which can happen very quickly), immediate surgery may be necessary. One of the treatment processes is the use of trocar in the rumen.

 A trocar is a small plastic device that is inserted into the left side of the abdomen to relieve pressure and can be removed later without the need for stitches. Standard trocars are not always large enough to allow content to be removed quickly enough, so sometimes a larger tool is required. Anti-foaming agents can also be introduced through this entry.

In the worst case, when the animal is suffering a lot and a veterinarian is not available, the cowherd may reduce the bloat with the help of a knife and puncturing the rumen. This is not a good choice because the contents of the rumen may enter the abdominal cavity and cause secondary peritonitis

Efforts should be made to reduce the factors that cause flatulence. Cattle grazing with juicy leguminous pastures causes bloat in cattle from spring to autumn and as a result the animal dies. Limiting access to these food sources along with feeding dry fodder can drastically reduce the number of cases of flatulence. Other effective methods are adding surfactants to drinking water and mixing grains or molasses.

In both forms of flatulence, the natural breathing movements (left flank) of the left ventricle increase and reach 60 movements per minute. The animal is standing but breathing badly and the mucous membranes are blue.

Death may occur very quickly due to too much pressure of the rumen on the diaphragm. Before the acute phase, the animal appears restless, isolated from other animals, refuses to eat, and stops ruminating and belching.

Factors causing bloating:

1- Food factors:

Saliva acts against sudden changes and its antifoam effect neutralizes the formation of foam. These effects are provided by the secretion of bicarbonate and mucin in saliva. In case of consuming appetizing foods but poor in terms of cellulose fibers and rich in glycosides and with high fermentability, which are consumed quickly, the rumen receptors will not be stimulated to cause rumination, and as a result, saliva will be secreted, which has tampon and anti-foaming effects. This type of disorder can occur as a result of consuming rations rich in concentrate (which are very chopped) or very young glumine which have little fiber and watery foods rich in nitrogen.

Also, the consumption of chopped and stored low-water plants or rations containing a lot of cabbage or fodder beets can also cause this condition. In addition, some plants such as white clover or alfalfa have foaming agents. Young and fresh pastures, pastures sprinkled with urea, and high consumption of glucose, calcium, magnesium, and nitrogenous substances help to cause flatulence.

Calcium is effective by blocking acetylcholine and muscle relaxation and magnesium by relaxing the rumen muscles.

2- Genetic factors

The individual characteristics of the animal, such as the genetic effect of the animal on the structure of the rumen and its movements, and the composition of saliva proteins, as well as the habit of grazing, are also factors.

3- Weather factors

Cold weather, especially rainy and windy weather, disrupts the temperature regulation of the animal’s body and creates suitable grounds for causing bloat in the animal.

4- Non-gastrointestinal infectious diseases

Tuberculosis and tetanus can be mentioned among the non-digestive infectious diseases that cause flatulence by affecting the nerves or the digestive system.

In tuberculosis, the lymphatic glands of the esophagus are swollen and by applying external pressure on the esophagus, it blocks its path.

In tetanus disease in calves, the function of the esophageal gutter is disrupted by causing a disturbance in the vagus nerve, and this is the cause of chronic flatulence.

5- Microbial factors

Among ruminal microbial agents, capsular bacteria and their produced polysaccharides play a greater role in the occurrence of flatulence.

Prevention of bloating:

For prevention, changing one food ration to another food ration should be done slowly, and when moving animals from pastures without legumes to pastures rich in legumes, good quality fodder should be used and cows should not be grazed in pastures containing legumes. Avoid very young.

Also, in bad and rainy weather, it is better to avoid taking livestock to the pasture. And after taking the animals to the legume pastures, they should be controlled.

Clinical symptoms and autopsy:

Licking the stomach, shortness of breath, tongue sticking out of the mouth, salivation, scrotum swelling are some of the symptoms of this disease. In the necropsy after the death of the animal, it is observed that the lymph nodes of the head and neck are full of blood, the upper part of the respiratory system is full of blood, the kidneys are soft, the mucous membrane of the intestine is full of blood, and sometimes there are cases of rupture of the abdomen and diaphragm. The foam disappears within a few hours after death. The horny layer of the rumen is torn off in sheets and the mucus underneath it looks significantly full of blood. An animal that falls due to bloat will soon perish.

treatment :

1- By putting a piece of wood in the mouth, it stimulated the secretion of saliva. The two sides of this stick are out from both sides of the animal’s jaws, and it is tied to the animal’s head with a rope so that it cannot be taken out or swallowed.

2- Use baking soda in the amount of 150 to 200 grams per liter of water and feed it to the trap.

3- Non-toxic oils such as vegetable oils should be fed to the trap.

4-He removed the gas from the animal’s body through a tube.

5- From related drugs such as poloxalone and… used

6- Rubbing a mixture of non-toxic oils with medicines on the side of the animal, when the animal licks, these substances are eaten and leave their effect.

7- He used the above oils and medicines in drinking water.

8- Use anti-flatulent compounds in food pellets.

9-Spray vegetable oils on the grass and forage of the pasture. Of course, rain will wash away these oils to a large extent.

10- Constant use of oils can affect the quality of animal milk. These oils have a negative effect on the absorption of beta-carotene, in this way, the amount of beta-carotene in milk and butter will decrease, and the taste, smell and taste of milk will also change. Among the oils that have an adverse effect on the taste and smell are flax oil, Soya named the fish. Peanut oil and tallow emulsion are the best. By adding 4% salt to the food ration, you can force the animal to eat water, in this way, the flow of food from the rumen is accelerated. The disadvantage of this work is that the weight gain of the animal decreases.

11- Livestock should not be exposed to food after a period of starvation. Do not put the affected cow in a tight environment and never sleep on its back.

12-Keeping the cow on a slope in such a way that the head of the animal is higher than the rest of the body, in this way, the release of gas from the animal’s body is accelerated.

13- Adding formalin (37% formaldehyde solution) in the amount of 1% to milk substitute liquids in the food of calves and lambs reduces the incidence of rumen bloating and does not pose any life risks to the health of lambs.

Ruminal bloat is not common in calves under 5 weeks of age, until this time the rumen is still aerobic, the introduction of milk or its substitutes into the rumen increases anaerobic bacteria and their fermentation products cause bloat. Feeding milk with a pacifier helps prevent bloating.

The cause of death of livestock in bloat diseases

    In the past, the absorption of toxic gases such as H2S or toxic amines such as histamines was considered the cause of death, but it seems that these cases are secondary factors. The main cause of death is respiratory-blood and heart disorders caused by rumen expansion.

 Anti-foaming material

 Since flatulence is caused by an increase in foam in the stomach, a simple way to prevent it is to control the production of foam using anti-foaming agents. At present, these substances are used to prevent flatulence by reducing the surface tension of the rumen fluid. In this category, we can refer to octanol, siliceous liquids, organic phosphates, and poloxalene.

Anti-bloating capsules with long-term effect

Each capsule is approximately 150 mm long and is thrown down the animal’s throat like a large plastic pill to be placed in the animal’s stomach.

The stability of the composition of these capsules continues for 80 to 100 days and it should be given to cows one week before entering the cows to the pastures. These capsules reduce the death caused by flatulence by about 80%. Experiments have shown that the cows who used these capsules will increase their weight and milk production. These capsules should not be given to cows below 200 kg.

Anti-flatulence blocks

Flatulence blocks or listgah (licking place) are the minimum requirement to prevent flatulence and are related to livestock breeders. Several types of them are available in the market, and some of them contain Teric12A23B, which is an effective combination for controlling flatulence in livestock. To prevent bloating, it is necessary for the animal to consume these blocks every day. To use them, you should pay attention to the following points:

– Place the blocks in the place where the animals gather, but they should not be near the watering hole. Studies show that if we place the blocks in a place far from where the cows graze, the consumption of the blocks will be reduced.

– Each block should be accessible to four or five animals.

 Licking rotating rollers

 In this method, they use a roller that is immersed in a pan of medicinal molasses.

The cow licks the molasses on the roller and the licking causes the roller to rotate in the pan. This device is made of durable plastic and has a capacity of 140 liters of molasses, and like the block, the success of licking the roller depends on how well the cow knows how to use it. Usually, this method is used 2 to 3 weeks before the bloat season and using a mixture of water and molasses (3 liters of molasses to 5 liters of water). The device should be placed where the animals gather and it should not be exposed to the sun because its ingredients will ferment. Then Teric should be added to the mixture so that each animal receives 40 ml per day. The animal’s appetite for this method can be improved by adding more molasses to the mixture. You should fill the rotating rollers of Lisiden twice a week and wash it once every 2 or 3 weeks.


 Vaccination against flatulence is not possible. Despite this, sometimes death due to clostridial diseases such as glutinous disease coincides with flatulence, because mild and chronic flatulence may make the cow susceptible to death due to these diseases. In addition, some scientists believe that clostridial abundance is involved in the process of flatulence. Therefore, all cows should be vaccinated against clostridial diseases using a vaccine (5 in 1) or (7 in 1) before the season of bloat.

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