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Diagnostic and therapeutic approach to functional forestomach disorders in cattle and buffalo


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Dhaliwal, P.S.
GADVASU, Ludhiana

The present study was planned and conducted on 138 patients of cattle and buffalo presented at Teaching Veterinary Hospital for various functional forestomach disorders. These patients were divided into eight different conditions, based on the clinical and special examinations viz. diaphragmatic hernia (24), traumatic reticulo-peritonitis (19), vagus indigestion (31), adhesive peritonitis (18), frank exudative peritonitis (16), reticular abscess (11), impaction (7) and abomasal ulceration (12). The predominant finding in this study was the presence of an inflammatory reaction complex of gut wall and peritoneum occurring as a result of an infectious process initiated by the ingested penetrating foreign bodies, ulcerations in abomasum or injuries from urogenital tract. These affections were more common during summer season and in 4-10 yrs age group. DH was predominantly species specific whereas other conditions were equally distributed with higher incidence around parturition. Deranged temperament and vitals, severe dehydration, fluidy ruminal consistency, scant or absent faeces, abnormal rectal findings and severe haematological alterations were characteristic features of abomasal ulceration and frank exudative peritonitis. In addition presence of initial frank pain, occasional tarry faeces and decreased ruminal size in former and high initial fever and abdominal distension in later condition was observed. Doughy rumen with absent ruminal movements was recorded in traumatic reticulo peritonitis and impaction compared to moderate tympany and mushy ruminal consistency in diaphragmatic hernia and reticular abscess cases. Increased faecal particle size was suggestive of diaphragmatic hernia and adhesive peritonitis and near normal defecation and temperament of reticular abscess. Peritoneal fluid examination was found to be a confirmatory test for diagnosis of peritonitis. Wide neutrophil: lymphocyte ratio, degenerated neutrophils with engulfed bacteria and overwhelming bacterial number indicated peritonitis. Increase mesothelial cell count and fibrin was indicative of chronic or adhesive peritonitis and high specific gravity and protein of traumatic reticulo peritonitis. Concentration of potassium, chloride, urea nitrogen and creatinine in peritoneal fluid increased to level of blood and inorganic phosphorus more than blood in peritonitis cases. Increased plasma proteins, high fibrinogen and narrow plasma protein to fibrinogen ratio were significant biochemical alterations in reticular abscess and adhesive peritonitis. High levels of serum potassium were observed in abomasal ulcerations. Normal rumen liquor chloride with high specific gravity was a diagnostic test for DH. Omasal impaction was a common accompanying feature in many conditions but the omasal impaction alone was rare. Treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics and supportive therapy led to recovery in about 70 per cent of curable infectious conditions with abomasal ulcerations and frank exudative peritonitis cases largely unresponding and difficult to cure. Magnet feeding along with antibiotics proved effective as a therapeutic supportive agent in penetrating foreign body cases. Preventive measure using magnet feeding was found effective for about more than 7 months checked needing replacement after about a year.


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