Blockage of the esophagus in cattle: photos, symptoms, treatment

Blockage of the esophagus in cattle: photos, symptoms, treatment

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Obstruction of the esophagus in a cow is a serious disease that is quite common in cattle. In the event of such a problem with the health of the animal, urgent medical measures are required. The outcome of the disease will depend on the quality and speed of care provided.

What is a blockage in the esophagus

A blockage of the esophagus is the partial or complete closure of the lumen of the esophagus. Pathology occurs due to the ingress of a foreign body, large food into the digestive organs. Complete blockage is possible due to the rapid consumption of large feed, and partial blockage due to accidental swallowing of foreign objects, often of an oblong shape. Blockage of the esophagus is primary or secondary, arising from muscle paralysis, spasms, paresis, edema.

Causes of obstruction of the esophagus in cattle

The causes of this disease are varied. Most often it occurs when feeding poorly chopped tubers and root crops, pumpkin, cake, corn cobs. It happens that the disease occurs after foreign objects enter the cow's esophagus. This happens in hungry animals, which greedily grab food without chewing it properly, quickly swallow it. If the cow does not receive a full-fledged mineral supplement, she tends to chew and swallow foreign objects.

Much less often, the cause of blockage of the esophagus can be its narrowing. It occurs after various injuries of the mucous membrane and muscle tissue of the esophagus, enlargement of the lymph nodes, which can become inflamed with leukemia, tuberculosis. Paralysis of the esophagus, which occurs with some infections, such as rabies, inflammation of the brain, bruises, can also cause blockages.

Symptoms of a blocked esophagus in a cow

Symptoms with a complete blockage of the esophagus appear very sharply. At the same time, the animal experiences severe discomfort:

  • there is anxiety, fear;
  • interest in food will disappear;
  • the cow makes swallowing movements, trying to move the food further;
  • chewing gum disappears;
  • belching stops;
  • the cow shakes its head sharply;
  • profuse frothy salivation appears.

Complete blockage of the esophagus leads to a stop of the stomach, the accumulation of gas in the rumen, and constipation. The general condition worsens significantly, other symptoms join. It is hard for the animal to breathe, there is a cough, shortness of breath, mucous membranes turn pale. The cow tries to beat itself in the stomach with its hoof. If the esophageal obstruction is partial, then the cow can drink and eat liquid food. On palpation, some compaction is felt in the area of ​​the jugular groove.

Warning! For life and health, both complete and partial blockage of the esophagus are considered dangerous. Therefore, at the slightest suspicion of this pathology, you must immediately call a veterinarian.

With a partial, minor blockage of the esophagus, symptoms may not be felt for a while, although the cow's behavior should alert the owner. Symptoms begin to appear most clearly when the animal's stomach stops. At this moment, gases accumulate in the rumen, the diaphragm is compressed. If you are late with help, the cow may die from asphyxiation earlier than in a day. If you suspect tympania, you should make an emergency puncture of the scar with a special trocar instrument.

Why is a blockage of the esophagus in a cow dangerous?

The rumen is the pancreas of the digestive tract in cattle, with a capacity of up to 300 liters. It is one of the most important organs in the cow's digestive system, participates in many gastrointestinal processes, produces vitamins and enzymes for the animal's body.

When tympania occurs (swelling of the scar), this organ stretches, increases in volume. And since it is located in the immediate vicinity of the thoracic region, the lungs and heart are compressed, blood circulation and metabolic processes in the body are disrupted.

Important! Perforation of the scar (puncture) should be carried out only by a specialist, observing medical and sanitary standards.

Thus, a complete blockage of the esophagus and not provided or illiterately provided assistance can lead to cardiac arrest and subsequent death of the animal.

With partial, but long-term obstruction of the esophagus, inflammatory processes, tissue necrosis, rupture of the scar membrane appear.

In especially severe cases, aspiration pneumonia develops - inflammation of the lungs and bronchi, which occurs due to the ingress of foreign objects into the respiratory tract.

Diagnosis for blockage of the esophagus

To make the correct diagnosis, the cow is first examined and palpated. Further, if necessary, you can use probing, X-ray, esophagoscopy. All of these studies are carried out only by a veterinarian.

When examining cattle, a specialist carefully observes the jugular groove, which is slightly enlarged, whether there is swelling, rupture.

Palpation is performed with the left hand, and the right veterinarian probes the cow's neck along the jugular groove. With this method of examination, the presence of foreign bodies can be detected.

Before probing, a probe is selected depending on the weight of the cow. The method helps to determine the cause of the ailment and determine the treatment regimen. In addition, probing helps in some cases to significantly reduce gases in the intestinal tract.

X-ray is rather an auxiliary research method for the subsequent diagnosis. It is performed with additional diagnostic methods.

Esophagoscopy is the most effective method for examining a cow's digestive tract. Using it, the veterinarian can view the entire gastrointestinal mucosa and begin treatment. The procedure also has a therapeutic focus, when there is a need to inject any drug directly into the intestines of the animal.

Treatment of a blocked esophagus in a cow

If the esophagus is blocked, help her as soon as possible to prevent asphyxiation. Treatment will depend on the form of the disease and the location of the foreign body in the esophagus.

First of all, you need to remove the item. All actions must be carried out in a specific sequence, only with trained assistants. You also need to take care of the precautions and proper fixation of the cow in advance. After that, a wedge is inserted between the molars of the animal. In the process of work, it is important to ensure that it does not fall out. Sometimes a probe is used for these purposes. The hand must be wrapped with a towel from hand to elbow to prevent injury. Further, penetrating with your hand into the oral cavity of the cow, try to remove the object.

Often the following method helps: hands clasp the neck of the cow in the area of ​​the jugular groove. They make movements with their hands to the head, causing a gag reflex. As a rule, a foreign object comes out with the vomit. Before starting the procedure, 100 ml of vegetable oil is poured into the throat of the cow, and during the procedure it is recommended to lightly squeeze the animal by the tongue.

If a foreign body is in the cervical or thoracic region of the esophagus, a 35 mm probe is used. By moving it along the esophagus, the object will be pushed forward. The procedure must be carried out carefully so as not to rupture the esophagus. When the scar is swollen (tympania), a puncture is performed.

Attention! If all possible methods of treatment have not yielded positive results, surgery is performed - esophagotomy.

Traditional methods of treatment

Often folk methods help to start the stomach in cattle.

In 300 ml of warm water, dilute 100-150 g of fresh yeast and leave them for half an hour. At this time, 100 g of sugar is diluted in 200 g of vodka. Diluted yeast is also added there. You should get 1 liter of tincture. It should be poured into the throat of the animal 2 times a day for 2 days.

Sometimes experienced farmers use cherem tincture, which is diluted in 0.5 liters of boiled water. It is also poured into the mouth of the animal.

Various herbal decoctions stimulate digestion well. For example, chamomile, a decoction of flax seed, yarrow. Prepare as follows: 30 g of raw materials are brewed in 1 liter of boiling water. The broth should be simmered in a water bath for about 30 minutes, then insist a little and gently strain. Pour warm on the animal for several days.

Prevention of obstruction of the esophagus in cattle

If a cow has a history of a blockage in the esophagus, the cow should be protected from recurrent problems of this kind.

The owner must carefully monitor what the animals eat. Coarse, coarse food should be finely chopped.

Pastures must be regularly cleaned of debris, and cleanliness in the premises where the cows are kept is also important. Do not drive the herd along potato or beetroot plantings.

When cows lack mineral supplements, they can lick plaster walls, eat soil and sand, and accidentally swallow foreign objects. Therefore, it is important to take care of vitamins and minerals by hanging special briquettes with useful ingredients from the feeders.


A blockage in the esophagus in a cow is a serious and fatal condition. Many cattle owners have faced this problem through their own fault. This disease occurs most often due to neglect of animals. You can avoid such a dangerous problem by properly caring for the livestock, carefully monitoring their diet and providing all the necessary nutrients.

Watch the video: Diagnosis and Treatment for Esophageal and Motility Disorders Video - Brigham and Womens Hospital (May 2022).

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