Large Animal Veterinary
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Hi there. My name is***** to hear that Wendy is unwell. I will do my best to help with your question. First I have a few questions to help me better understand your situation.
Does Wendy's abdomen appear enlarged or bloated?
Is she currently wanting to eat or drink?
Does she appear to be in pain (hunched, vocalising or kicking)?
Does she appear to be salivating excessively?
Is she wanting to stay on her feet, or is she trying to lie down more than normal?
Okay. The first two things that come to mind with this situation of grain over-eating is bloat and ruminal acidosis. It sounds from your description of her activity levels and the length of time that it has been, that her condition is not too serious.
Just to clarify, you said it was mostly timothy hay pellets...but with grain underneath? Is that right?
Okay, and you mentioned before that you thought she might have injured her legs. Is this because of the way she was walking? Or did you see obvious signs of an injury, like a cut or bleeding?
Okay. Based on what Wendy has eaten, what she most likely has is ruminal acidosis. This is associated with loose, light coloured diarrhoea, reduced gut motility, regurgitation, and a sweaty coat appearance. In severe cases, there will be severe or complete loss of gut motility, weakness, dull mentality, inability to rise, or delayed laminitis (which presents as delayed lameness).
The underlying problems is that the pH in the rumen become abnormally low (acidic) due to the highly digestible nature of the grain. If the pH is acidic enough, it can cause direct damage to the rumen lining and bleeding, or result in the blood becoming acidic.
In mild cases, which I think Wendy has (but difficult to be sure without being physically there to examine her), the problem can resolve on its own. But I would keep her entirely on roughage or pasture for the next week, to avoid adding further acids to the rumen from more grain.
You should monitor her faecal output and make sure she is passing faeces normally (usually at least once an hour). This will give you an indication that the guts are continue to move and churn, which is a positive sign. If you notice that she is not producing faeces, or is refusing to eat or drink, or unable to get up, she will require more urgent assistance from your local farm animal vet.
Also good to check the line at the top of each of her hooves for redness, soreness or swelling, as these are indications of laminitis.
If her condition worsens, the visiting vet will likely start her on some antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, check her blood pH, administer antacid medications, and perhaps give vitamin injections to facilitate gut function.
No worries. Good luck.
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