Do I need to worry about bloat?

Chebird

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Yesterday afternoon my nine month old miniature Jersey steer got into the grain storage area. From what I can tell, he mostly ate black sunflower seeds and chicken scratch, but he also ate some miniature pig chow. He came running for his nightly bottle (before I noticed what he had done) and drank it like normal. However, he wasn't interested in his hay. I'm sure he was full. I have a text in to my vet but haven't heard anything back.

This morning, he's acting like normal, but I read bloat can take up to two days to set in. Is there anything I should do?

Thanks for any of your expertise.

Holly
 

farmerjan

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I don't think that he will suffer from bloat at this point. It is normally much more "quick acting" and things that cause bloat will do so fairly quickly. A combination of things like it sounds he ate should not cause too big of a problem. Other than possibly some loose manure, I think you should be fine. But a text to the vet was smart and it will be interesting in what they say. I would not allow any grain today and hope that he will eat some hay so it will negate any real upset. The good thing about bovines is the rumen and that they have microbes in there that will work on digesting whatever gets "thrown at them".

I have a question though. Why is a 9 month old calf still getting a bottle? Now, I realize that in real life, beef calves will still nurse from their momma but they are getting a minimal amount of milk. At 9 months the rumen should be fully developed and drinking milk is totally unnecessary. It is also expensive if you are feeding milk replacer. That is entirely up to you but it is totally not necessary if the calf is eating hay and grain. The protein in the grain will actually do better for the calf than the milk will at this point. And the milk can keep their manure a little loose since it is not absorbed as well as they get older. The first true stomach, that the baby calf has, to absorb the nutrients from the m ilk, will shrink as the rumen develops to handle the roughages that they are designed to eat.
 

Chebird

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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR REPLY!!!!

His nightly bottle is just a very little amount of milk and warm water to help keep him hydrated, and frankly, because we love giving it to him. This guy is a pet and is very bonded with us.

His diet is mostly made up of cow chow (complete feed) and Bermuda hay.

Again, thank you so much for helping to relieve my mind a bit. Someone else said to offer him baking soda which I think I will do to help prevent any problems.

Blessings,

Holly
 

farmerjan

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Be careful with the baking soda to not give too much and change the ph of his rumen... that can lead to problems.

I get his being your "baby".... just didn't know if you knew at that age it was not necessary to continue bottles.
 

Chebird

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Finally got ahold of a vet. Just gave him thera-bloat, mineral oil and milk in a bottle. He gets another dose in 12 hrs. His left side is bigger than his right side, and he's not eating like he should. However, he is playful and active. Please pray.
 

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I am glad that you got ahold of a vet. The "mini" breeds of cattle are so much more suceptible to problems. Hoping that this gets him back to normal... do not be alarmed with runny manure from the mineral oil...
 

Chebird

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His left side has gotten softer and smaller, but he still doesn't have an appetite. :( Is that normal?
 

farmerjan

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Give him some time. It has been what....6-8 hours since you treated him? As long as he is drinking and not dehydrating, it will balance out. You don't get over an "overeating/binge/splurge " session in a few hours....
 

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He is looking and acting GREAT this morning! This is just where he spends the night.
 

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farmerjan

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He is looking and acting GREAT this morning! This is just where he spends the night.
There is nothing wrong with your concern, but sometimes you have to just not panic. I am very glad he is acting much better this morning. Hopefully you are "over the hump"............ NOW, to get that latch to the feed "COW PROOFED"....:lol::he
 
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