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Ruminal Impaction

Ruminal Impaction

Impaction in dairy animals refers to the failure of digestion, slow passage and accumulation of feed in one or more of the stomach compartments leading to constipation or absence of dung. Ruminal Impaction is of two types.

Primary impaction –

It refers of accumulation of poor-quality roughages in any of the forestomach compartments. Sometimes ingestion of inanimate or indigestible substance like ropes a polyethene is associated with such impaction in sporadic cases in herd.

Secondary impaction –

Any inflammation of gut or associated organ which decease gut motility lead to secondary impaction.


  1. Acid indigestion
  2. Rumen acidosis
  3. Lacto acidosis


History of eating excessive carbohydrate food, crushed grain or decomposed silage

Clinical signs

  • Dullness, depression Anorexia, Increased Pulse rate
  • Rumen distended with fluid
  • Sluggish ruminal motility

Forms of Rumen Acidosis

  • Acute rumen acidosis
  • Sub-acute rumen acidosis
  • Chronic rumen acidosis

Clinical Pathology

1) Rumen fluid Ph is 5 or below

2) Rumen protozoa- no or less in no.  

3) Rumen bacteria – predominance of gm+ve (s. bovis)

4) Urine Ph acidic and proteinuria


Evacuate ruminal content by lavage / (washing out) or rumenotomy & introduce rumen liquor from healthy animal

Rumenotomy to remove impacted material i.e. plastic, ropes, gunny bag & leather piece diagnosed by x-ray or ultrasound

Restrict water for 12 -14 hr but provide straw

 Correction of PH

1. Use of saline purgative

  • Magnesium carbonate or oxide or hydroxide sodium bicarbonate

2. Saline purgative – magnesium sulphate

3. Use of systemic alkaline

  • Sodium bicarbonate (2.5-5%)
  • 500ml – 1 litre Intravenous

4. Use of oral antibiotics

  • Penicillium 50-100 lakh 1.v
  • Tetracycline -8 – 10 gm.
  • Erythromycin (10-20 gm. dissolve in 5-10 l water)

5. Dextrose saline 5% solution

  • 2-5 l / 4 to restore fluid loss

6. Rumen massage, rumen tonics, liver extract, antihistamine & thiamine hydrochloride (2-4 gm).

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