Herouldmede Gaymaid 7th (Lilly)
When she was just a few weeks from having her second calf she suddenly got bloat (photo 1). We called the vets in immediately and the gas was released with a pipe down into the rumen. By the afternoon she had swollen up again so a trocar had to be inserted which worked well until it came out. She was fine for a week or so but the morning she gave birth she blew up again and she had to have a second trocar. In talking to the vet it seemed obvious that it wasn't the grass she was on as she'd been on the same field (rotated through 4 quarters) since being out of the shed in spring. This could only mean that she had somehow damaged the vagal nerve which travels along the esophagus to the stomachs and enables a cow to belch and remove gas.
All was fine for about a month, she lost the second trocar but seemed fine. Then she came down with bloat again. Having had 2 trocar already there was only one option left to us; she needed to have her rumen stitched to her side and a permanent hole left open to release the gas. Once again Dominic from Belmont Farm and Equine vets came to perform the procedure which as you can see we managed to take extensive photographs of. The whole operation took a while as Dominic needed to be sure not to puncture the stomach before he had the first couple of stitches in - otherwise the stomach would have collapsed and it would then have been almost impossible to then attach to her side.
She is now doing well, and the calf is growing at a steady pace, but this will be her last. Sadly she will not be able to have more offspring and once the calf is old enough to cope on his own she will have to be culled. A very sad fact of farming - but we can only do what's best for our animals at all times.