Journal of the South African Veterinary Association
On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128
During a routine flock visit, a farmer observed that one of the eight tooth Bapedi rams had been losing body condition despite being separated from the flock and fed supplementary feed. The ram's body condition score was assessed as 2 out of 5 (one point less than the average of the rest of the rams) and the teeth appeared normal with no excessive wear. The rumen was assessed by auscultation, palpation and ballottement where a foreign body (approximately 20 cm χ 5 cm - 10 cm) was clearly palpated and ballotted. A rumenotomy was performed and a large mass of tightly compacted foreign matter and plant material was removed. The mass consisted of synthetic fibre, plant material and calcium phosphate (50.5%). It appeared to have formed as the result of the ingestion of a synthetic fibre which formed the nidus of a concretion. This was probably the result of deficient nutrition, with the rams eating the synthetic fibre in an attempt to increase feed intake. The ram recovered uneventfully after the rumenotomy was performed and supplementary feeding.