Ruminal impaction in a miniature zebu steer

12 Sep 2018

Tyma, J. F., Hart, K. A., Vautier, J., Williams, J. M.

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An approximately one-year-old miniature zebu steer was examined for lethargy, anorexia and decreased faecal output of one day’s duration. Based on the steer’s history of malnourishment, physical examination and abdominal radiographic images, ruminal impaction was discussed as the top differential diagnosis. Exploratory flank laparotomy and rumenotomy demonstrated severe ruminal impaction of primarily hickory nuts with additional fibrous feed material, sand and two small, blunt, metallic objects. These materials were manually removed, and the rumen and reticulum were thoroughly lavaged. The steer recovered well from general anaesthesia and was treated with repeated orogastric transfaunation postoperatively. The steer did well for the remainder of his hospitalisation, was returned to a normal diet, resumed passage of normal faeces and was discharged three days postoperatively.