Bloat in Ruminants

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bloat in Ruminants


(also tympanites, hoven, meteorism), a disease marked by an excessive accumulation of gas in the rumen of ruminant animals, especially cattle. Acute bloat occurs when animals feed heavily on spoiled or slightly fermented fodder, when there is an abrupt change in the animals’ diet from dry fodder to lush grasses, or when animals are allowed to graze freely after being stabled. Bloat can also occur as a result of obstruction of the esophagus, poisoning by water hemlock, and anthrax. It can become chronic as a result of traumatic gastritis, liver disease, and stricture of the esophagus.

Symptoms include distention of the abdomen, protrusion of the left paralumbar fossa, and restlessness. If severe, the disease may be accompanied by dyspnea, cyanosis of the mucous membranes, and weakening of cardiac activity. Bloat may be fatal. Treatment includes the oral administration of Ichthyol, cresol, formaldehyde solution, and other antiferments, the massage, intubation, and lavage of the rumen, and the use of a bit. If necessary, the rumen can be punctured with a trocar in the middle of the left paralumbar fossa. The disease can be prevented by feeding the animals properly.


Vnutrennie nezaraznye bolezni zhivotnykh. Edited by A. M. Kolesov. Leningrad, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.