This section is from the book "The Farmers Ready Reference Or Hand Book Of Diseases Of Horses And Cattle", by S. C. Orr. . Also available from Amazon: The Farmer's Ready Reference;.
Indigestion in the chronic form is of frequent occurrence among milk cows, especially in towns and cities where large quantities of corn chop and other heating food-stuffs are fed. Mouldy or course innutritious hay, or wintering around straw stacks will also cause it.
Symptoms. - Staring coat, sunken eyes, loss of appetite, hollow flanks, dry, flaky, mucous-covered droppings, and sometimes they will be blood-stained and are always small in quantity. The muzzle will be dry at times and at others moist. The breathing is generally increased and the animal grunts and frequently moans, especially when moved.
Treatment. - The first step is to cleanse the bowels. If there is diarrhoea give a quart of raw oil If there is no diarrhoea give one pound or more of Epsom salt dissolved in half a gallon of warm water, repeating the dose if the first does not operate in twenty-four hours. When the bowels have been opened give the following dose twice a day until the bowels become regular: Bicarbonate of soda, powdered charcoal and powdered gentian root, of each half an ounce. Feed on oil cake, bran mash, roots or any other easily-digested, laxative food. If in summer give green grass; if in winter give good, sweet hay for roughness and allow plenty of good water at all times.
Constipation in cattle is always more or less associated with indigestion, and the same treatment will apply to both. If the case is an obstinate one, a half a pint to a pint of raw oil every day or two will assist in keeping the bowels open.