the report is back on clara's post-mortum. rather than try to paraphase it..i will just copy and paste the vets summary...
Carol · Jan. 12, 2013
The final report is back from the lab regarding Clara.
The most prominent finding was massive distention of all compartments of the stomach. There was severe enlargement of the rumen, as we saw at the time of the exam and over the last few months, and feed distention in the other compartments as well. The feed in the rumen was obviously not passing through at a normal rate since there was excess in there and Clara was not seen to be eating that much food lately.
The pathologist noted there was a frothy bloat which typically is an acute finding ? i.e. an animal overeats lush feed and gets a frothy soap-suds like build up in the rumen. It prevents belching and the animal gets respiratory distress quickly. I have seen chronic frothy bloat only in cattle once ? that was attributed to very high clover content in aggressively grazing growing calves. Clara's diet was NOT one that would be consistent with a chronic frothy bloat scenario. I realize she may have been on a free choice, high grain, high treats diet since she was thin and not doing well, but her intake did not sound like it was enough to make any boat be continually ongoing.
The other finding was the cholangio-hepatitis. This was chronic inflammation of the liver. The pathologist commented that these lesions may not have been connected. However, with the long-standing time of poor doing, I would think that the liver may be involved in the primary problem. Clara's rumen motility was not normal as shown by the distention. The liver inflammation would have been the cause of the chronically high fibrinogen levels found on the bloodwork.
The test for Johne's disease bacteria was negative.
I hope this sheds a little light on poor Clara's tough battle these last few months. Given all your efforts to help and fix her, you made the right decision.