Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
engorgement by ruminants and horses on carbohydrate-rich food which results in fermentation in the rumen, or stomach in the case of horses, with the production of large amounts of lactic acid. Absorption of the acid results in the development of a lactic acidemia. Retention in the alimentary tract causes osmotic withdrawal of fluid from the body tissues and severe dehydration. The resulting clinical syndrome includes abdominal enlargement, hypovolemic shock, ruminal stasis, severe toxemia, weakness, recumbency and a very high mortality rate. The pH of the ruminal contents is usually less than 5. Absorption causes severe systemic acidosis. Horses also suffer dehydration and lactic acidosis after engorgement on grain. Laminitis is an additional sequel. Called also grain engorgement, rumen overload, maize crop engorgement, grape engorgement.