Buffalo Bulletin Vol.27 No.2 (June 2008) p. 185-186




Veeraiah1, Manda Srinivas2 and N. Lakshmi Rani3

1Veterinary Dispensary, PIPPARA,West Godavari District, A.P. - 534 197, India.

2College of Veterinary Science, Tirupati-517 502, India. e-mail: smanda64@yahoo.co.in

3NTR College of Veterinary Science, Gannavaram-521 102, India.



            The present communication reports complications due to a phytobezoar obstructing the reticuloomasal orifice causing ruminitis, regurgitation, aspiration pneumonia and death in a she-buffalo.


Keywords: phytobezoar, reticuloomasal orifice, rumenotomy, regurgitation, complications




Phytobezoars of varied origin have been reported in bullocks, small ruminants and wild animals, and these could be fatal. But reports on phytobezoars in buffaloes are few. The present communication places on record the fatal complications of phytobezoar in the rumen of a she-buffalo.





            A graded Murrah she-buffalo aged about 8 years was referred to the Veterinary Dispensary with history of no defecation and anorexia for the past 12 days and regurgitation since 5 days. The she-buffalo was treated with purgatives, rumenotorics, B-complex vitamins and dextrose salines by the local veterinarian with no improvement. On clinical examination, the she-buffalo revealed mild respiratory distress, depression, normal rectal temperature and ruminal fluid was observed at both the nostrils. Per rectal examination ruled out intestinal obstruction, hence exploratory rumenotomy was attempted.




            Rumenotomy was performed as per the procedure described by Tyagi and Singh (1993). Through examination of the rumen and reticulum revealed ruminitis and a bezoar obstructing the reticuloomasal orifice, which was removed. The phytobezoar measured 12 cm X 6 cm and weighed 185 grams. It consisted of plant materials, polythenes and mineral deposits (Figure 1). The phytobezoar consisted of 8.22% moisture, 5.58% crude protein, 5.80% crude fiber and 80.40% total ash on chemical analysis. Post operative care included Inj Streptopenicillin @ 2.5 gm, Inj Meloxicam @ 15 ml and Inj Chlorpheneramine maleate @ 10 ml intramuscularly and fluid therapy. Following surgery the buffalo developed sign of dyspnea, coughing, fever. Auscultation of the lung area revealed crackles and wheezes. The she-buffalo died on the second day following surgery. Postmortem examination revealed rumenitis, congested and empty intestines and tracheitis due to regurgitated ruminal contents into the trachea.

            Plant fibers and polythenes ingested through the feed might have acted as a nucleus for phytobezoar formation around which salts and mucous secretions were deposited. The size, shape, composition and formation of phytobezoars in the present case are in agreement to those reported by Sharma and Chauhan (1997) and Bath et al., (1992).

In the present case the phytobezoar was fatal as it has obstructed the reticuloomasal orifice leading to excessive ruminal contractions, regurgitation, aspiration pneumonia and death. These are often revealed at postmortem examination as reported by Sastry (1983).




    Figure 1. Phytobezoar recovered from the reticuloomasal orifice.




Bath, G.F., P. Botha, H.J. Vorster and R.H.H. Cross. 1992. Physical structure and chemical composition of abomasal phytobezoars of goats and sheep. Journal of South African Vety. Assoc., 63: 103-107.

Sastry, A. Ganti. 1983. Veterinary Pathology, 6th ed. CBS Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, India.

Sharma, S.C. and R.S. Chauhan. 1997. Phytobezoars in Barking Deer (Maliacus muntiak). Indian J. of Vety. Pathology, 21: 168-169.

Tyagi, R.P.S. and Singh Jit. 1993. Ruminant Surgery. CBS Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, India.