Gerard Mc Govern – a large animal veterinary practitioner in Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan – came across this case of chronic rumen bloat on a farm earlier this month.
Taking to Instagram, he explained that chronic rumen bloat/tympany is a common problem in dairy and beef calves under 12-months-old.
“The exact cause is not fully understood and there are a myriad of potential causes implicated.”
- Rumen indigestion, causing atony;
Damage to vagus nerve (which controls rumen function) in the thoracic cavity, resulting from respiratory disease (inflammation/abscess);
- Vagal nerve damage in the abdominal cavity, as a result of inflammatory conditions.
- Lesions at the rumen cardia like abscess, polyps
- External pressure on the oesophagus (eg swollen mediastinal lymph glands) causing stenosis of the gullet and inability to eructate gas/
“As nothing promotes chronic tympany more than tympany itself, the problem is best solved by giving the rumen a 'rest' by creating an artificial chimney or blowhole to allow normal gas production to escape through the abdominal wall.”
“This is achieved by performing a rumenostomy or inserting a screw in (Buff) cannula,” he added.
In this case, the rumen wall was sutured to the abdominal muscles using catgut and then the skin, using Supramid, effectively creating a fistula, the vet explained.
“Adventures of a large animal vet”
McGovern shares the “adventures of a large animal vet” on Instagram; he graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) in 1977 with a degree in Veterinary Medicine.
Gerard runs a mixed practice – approximately 75% large animal and 25% small animal; his father – Gregory – started the practice in 1949.
Image source: Gerard Mc Govern \ Instagram
Email Catherina Cunnane – firstname.lastname@example.org – if you have a veterinary-related case that may be of interest to our readers.