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Acidosis In Calves

‘dummy Calf’ May Be Suffering From Acidosis

‘dummy Calf’ May Be Suffering From Acidosis

Most people who have dealt with beef cows at calving time have occasionally had to deal with a weak, dopey calf. These calves may be unable to stand or have difficulty standing without assistance. They have poor muscle tone and seem to have no idea where to put their feet or how to stand or move. Most of them seem dopey and are unable to suckle, even when given a bottle or having a teat placed in their mouths. These “dummy calves,” also called “weak calves,” require a great deal of care and attention to get through the first few days of life and are often a major inconvenience at a busy time of year. A variety of conditions can make a newborn calf appear weak, including selenium deficiency, hypothermia, infectious disease and trauma, such as being stepped or laid on. Weak calf syndrome has also been associated with cows in poor body condition in late pregnancy that are being fed inadequate protein or energy. However, a common cause for the weak “dummy calf” is a condition known as acidosis. It refers to a drop in the pH of the blood, which can be triggered by a lack of oxygen that might occur during a difficult calving. Calves under normal calving conditions go through a transition in how their oxygen is supplied. The oxygen supply to the calf from the placenta stops during delivery, which results in a temporary increase in carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. This is a trigger for the calf to start breathing on its own. The act of breathing allows the calf to expel the carbon dioxide from the blood and begin to restore normal oxygen levels. However, this process can be delayed when calving is prolonged or difficult. The carbon dioxide levels may rise in the blood without the calf being able to “blow off” the carbon dioxide by breathing. The drop in blood Continue reading >>

Rumen Acidosis In Calves: Part Iii

Rumen Acidosis In Calves: Part Iii

A new Calf Note (#173) has been posted at Calf Notes.com. In previous Calf Notes (#170, #172), Dr. Jim Quigley proposed the idea that subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) is prevalent in young calves during the rumen development process and this phenomenon reduces fiber digestion, increases risk of diarrhea, and possibly, contributes to increased risk of health problems. He also suggested that physical form of the diet and choice of ingredients in starters and exclusion of forage might contribute to SARA. The new Calf Note looks in depth at research to determine effects of form of ration (pelleted vs. mash) and amount of fiber (low, high) on rumen development and incidence of rumen acidosis. "Producers can improve the digestive efficiency of calves fed highly fermentable starters by ensuring regular consumption throughout the day (i.e., make sure feed is always available), providing an adequate supply of free water, sufficient bunk space (if calves are housed in groups), and ensuring that calves have sufficient passive immunity to avoid disease and get off to a good start," Quigley says. For more information, read Calf Note #173 "Effects of rumen acidosis on digestion in calves." A future Calf Note will evaluate the role of feed additives to minimize the effects of SARA in calves. Continue reading >>

Calf Health: Preventing Acidosis In Newborn Calves

Calf Health: Preventing Acidosis In Newborn Calves

Calf health: Preventing acidosis in newborn calves Calves which are weak or dopey after birth could be suffering from acidosis, says David Gibson, a veterinary investigation officer with SAC Consulting. He explains calves can often suffer from acidosis following a prolonged calving, which can lead to oxygen deprivation, and ultimately weakness in the calf and an inability to stand. During an uncomplicated calving, the oxygen supply to the calf from the placenta stops when the calf is delivered. This results in a temporary increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the bloodstream which acts as a trigger to make the calf start breathing. The act of breathing blows off the CO2 and restores the normal levels of oxygen. Where calving is prolonged the oxygen supply becomes impaired and CO2 levels rise without the calf being able to blow off the CO2 by breathing. This forces the calf into a state of acidosis which can last a long period of time depending on the nature of the delay in calving. Mr Gibson explains human athletes can experience a similar problem following a hard-run race; once the running has stopped, the oxygen demand of the muscles decreases and they are able to breathe deeply, so oxygen supplementation is received and muscle cells return to their normal metabolic function. Calves which experience a prolonged calving have no way of addressing their acidosis, placing them at risk of longer-lasting and more severe effects of acidosis, including stupor, coma and death. Calving difficulties are almost inevitable in commercial cattle production and many producers will be familiar with the frustration of calves with no vigour which are unable to stand after an assisted or prolonged calving. The extended periods of recumbency in these calves often predi Continue reading >>

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Metabolic Acidosis In Calves: A Field Study.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Metabolic Acidosis In Calves: A Field Study.

Abstract The history and results of a clinical examination were recorded for 32 spring-born suckler calves which were hospitalised for intravenous fluid therapy. Blood samples were taken before treatment, during treatment and before discharge and analysed for colostral status, total carbon dioxide as an indication of acid-base status, and haematocrit. All the calves were given intravenously 5 to 10 litres of electrolyte solution containing 144 mmol/litre sodium, 4 mmol/litre potassium, 113 mmol/litre chloride and 35 mmol/litre bicarbonate, supplemented, in 24 calves, with up to 450 ml of 1M sodium bicarbonate. Nearly all the calves were recumbent but less than half were dehydrated on admission. The signs of dehydration were well correlated with each other and with the haematocrit. Neither the history nor the clinical signs were useful predictors of acidosis. There was no relationship between the severity of acidosis and the degree of dehydration. Acidosis was more prevalent in older calves (P < 0.01). For the severely acidotic calves, supplementary intravenous fluid with sodium bicarbonate significantly (P < 0.05) improved the total blood carbon dioxide at discharge. All 32 calves recovered. It is possible to treat acidotic calves with intravenous fluid therapy effectively, economically and according to their individual needs. The Harleco apparatus is a simple, useful, cost-effective adjunct to the diagnosis and treatment of this life-threatening condition. Continue reading >>

Both L- And D-lactate Contribute To Metabolic Acidosis In Diarrheic Calves

Both L- And D-lactate Contribute To Metabolic Acidosis In Diarrheic Calves

Both L- and D-Lactate Contribute to Metabolic Acidosis in Diarrheic Calves College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, SK, S7N 5C9, Canada Search for other works by this author on: Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, SK, S7N 5C9, Canada Search for other works by this author on: Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, SK, S7N 5C9, Canada Search for other works by this author on: College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, SK, S7N 5C9, Canada To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: [email protected] Search for other works by this author on: The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 131, Issue 8, 1 August 2001, Pages 21282131, Olutosin O. Omole, Germain Nappert, Jonathan M. Naylor, Gordon A. Zello; Both L- and D-Lactate Contribute to Metabolic Acidosis in Diarrheic Calves, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 131, Issue 8, 1 August 2001, Pages 21282131, Diarrhea in neonates is often complicated by metabolic acidosis. We used blood gas analysis and HPLC to determine whether bacterial fermentation might contribute to acidosis in diarrheic calves. Diarrheic calves (n = 21) had significantly lower pH, PCO2, HCO3 and a higher anion gap than healthy calves (n = 21). Serum concentrations (mean SD, mmol/L) of DL-,L- and D-lactate were also significantly higher in diarrheic (8.9 5.1, 4.1 3.4 and 5.2 5.7) than in healthy calves (1.7 1.2, 2.0 1.1 and too low to quantify). D- and L-lactate accounted for 64% anion gap increase in diarrheic calves. Fecal D- and L-lactate concentrations were also significantly higher in diarrheic calves (9.4 3.0 and 11.9 2.7 mmol/L) than healthy calves (1.1 0.1 and 1.6 0.1 mmol/L). The elevated concentrations of serum and fecal D-lactate suggest gut bacter Continue reading >>

Subacute Rumen Acidosis In Calves

Subacute Rumen Acidosis In Calves

Important to the health and growth of calves is proper development of the rumen in preparation for weaning. Rumen development is driven by fermentation of carbohydrates by rumen bacteria Production of volatile fatty acids (especially butyrate and propionate) from this fermentation cause a cascade of developmental activities, including growth of the rumen papillae, increased absorption of acids from the rumen, changes in bacterial flora, and peripheral alterations so the calf can utilize different energy substrates. In our quest to drive rumen development, we focus on providing readily fermentable carbohydrates such as starch and sugar. These carbohydrates are rapidly fermented in the rumen and tend to provide the greatest amount of propionate and butyrate. However, in our quest to develop the rumen, we may be inducing subacute rumen acidosis, or SARA, in these calves. This Calf Note provides some evidence that SARA exists in calves. Future Calf Notes will explore whether this is a problem and implications to the animal. Initially, lets define SARA and why this is important, at least in lactating dairy cows. What is SARA? Most researchers define the occurrence of SARA when rumen pH remains below a critical level (usually 5.6 or 5.8) for extended periods. Some good background on SARA in cows is here: Lets use the criteria of rumen pH below 5.8 as our criteria for SARA. In this case, does SARA occur in calves around weaning time? Most research data would suggest that SARA is not only frequent in many calves, it may be the norm. Lets look at some research. Research evaluating rumen development using ruminally cannulated calves consistently reported the pH of calves was below 5.8, often approaching 5.0. While at the University of Tennessee, my research group monitored the r Continue reading >>

Ruminal Acidosis In Milk-fed Calves

Ruminal Acidosis In Milk-fed Calves

Ruminal acidosis in pre-ruminant calves is caused primarily by the inefcient function of the esophageal groove, producing an abnormal accumulation of fermentable liquid in the rumen. This issue of Large Animal Veterinary Rounds describes the most important factors that induce esophageal groove dysfunction and the etiological, pathogenic, and clinical aspects of ruminal acidosis in milk-fed calves. This issue will also focus on the role of lactic acid and disturbances in systemic acid-base metabolism, clinical ndings associated with the acute and chronic forms of ruminal acidosis, characteristics of ruminal uid, and guidelines for therapy. Dysfunction of the esophageal groove reex, with pooling of liquid in the forestomachs, is a possible complication of some neonatal calf diseases, especially diarrhea. sis is an underestimated pathological condition. It is caused by fermentative disorders that occur when dysfunction of the esophageal (reticular) groove reex allows milk to spill into the reticulo-rumen instead of being delivered directly into the abomasum. In this situation, the calf is considered to be a In milk-fed calves, the main consequence of this ruminal drinking is acidication in the forestomachs that may provoke severe and sometimes lethal indigestion. Although scientic evi- dence is lacking, case reports and personal experience suggest that Simmental calves are predisposed to this condition. Also, in veal calves, stress factors and feeding practices may induce failure of esophageal groove closure; in this case, chronic disease usually develops. Although pre-ruminant calves are considered to be functionally monogastric animals, the reticulo- rumen can undergo life-threatening pathological processes from the rst days of life. Similar to adult cattle, there are 2 Continue reading >>

Metabolic Acidosis In Calves

Metabolic Acidosis In Calves

Volume 15, Issue 3 , November 1999, Pages 473-486 Author links open overlay panel Thomas R.KasariDVM, MVSc Get rights and content In neonatal calves metabolic acidosis is a common sequela to diarrhea-induced dehydration and endotoxemia in the aftermath of gram-negative bacterial infections. Without treatment, metabolic acidosis is a prime factor in the death of many of these calves. This article begins with a general discussion about the causes and recognition of metabolic acidosis. The remaining sections detail the subjective and objective methods available to assess the severity of acidosis and treatment options for this metabolic condition. Continue reading >>

Acidosis In Young Dairy Calves And Its Treatment

Acidosis In Young Dairy Calves And Its Treatment

ACIDOSIS IN YOUNG DAIRY CALVES AND ITS TREATMENT I am a Dairy Consultant in Zimbabwe and recently my one client has, I believe SARA, in his young dairy calves. Briefly, the rearing program is as follows: 1) Colostrum is fed immediately after birth, plus dipping the navel with tincture of iodine. Colostrum tests indicate colostrum is of high quality, 2) A balance calf starter is fed from day 1 along with fresh milk, 3) After day 5 approximately the calves are moved to a rearing area where they are fed milk and ad lib calf starter plus water, 4) Weaning takes place at 65 days of age. Recently it has been observed that calves are eating soil from ant heaps in the paddocks and loose manure is fairly common??? A worm challenge is currently being verified, however, I feel the problem is SARA. The calf starter formulation is based on soya bean meal, corn by-products such as germ meal and corn bran and cotton hulls as the main effective fibre source..plus minerals and vitamins. 5) The soil eating and loose manure continues after weaning for about a month or so. If in your opinion SARA is the cause, monensin is available and can you please recommend an inclusion rate in the starter meal...or what other strategy can I use to rectify the problem..sodium bicarb???? Outside United States dairy cattle dairy herd health How much milk are you feeding and how often are you feeding it? SARA in calves is often from feeding inconsistently, either the grain or milk. Calves should be fed 2 or 3 times per day. With a total of at least 2 gallons per day split evenly between feedings. Dear Jeremy, many thanks for your response. To answer your question the Jersey calves get 2 litres and the Holsteins 3 litres twice a day. The problem here from your response is that I suspect the milk is not at Continue reading >>

Acidosis In New-born Calves

Acidosis In New-born Calves

Is it going to be a difficult calving? If so, the calf could be put under stress by acidosis AFTER a difficult calving, a calf can quite often suffer from a degree of acidosis. Acidosis occurs when blood becomes too acidic due to carbon dioxide build up. When a calf goes through a difficult birth, there is often a delay in the start of normal breathing allowing carbon dioxide to build up. Also, if trauma occurs, the calf's ability to expand its chest and breathe normally can be compromised. As a result, the calf's ability to blow out the excess carbon dioxide and breathe in oxygen is compromised. - Erratic kicking movement when the calf is inside the uterus. - The calf's breathing is still irregular 30 seconds after birth. - The calf has not lifted its head and lied upright in the first five minutes after birth. - There is a lack of muscle tone (the limbs may appear and feel flaccid). - The foot is not withdrawn when pinched between the toes. Acidosis reduces calf vigour and makes them 'dopey'. It also reduces their strength and willingness to suckle. It can also impair the absorption of colostral antibodies in the gut which leaves them less protected against diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea. Severe acidosis also has a detrimental effect on the heart and lungs and is sufficient to threaten survival. Sterile bicarbonate solution administered into the vein can be successful in treating acidosis. Bicarbonate helps to neutralise the acidity of the blood. Your vet should be consulted for this procedure. The solution should ideally be administered as soon as possible after birth to calves showing signs of acidosis. The response in practice is variable and not successful in every case. However, considering that the price of a decent calf in the Scottish beef calf sche Continue reading >>

D-lactic Acidosis In Calves

D-lactic Acidosis In Calves

Tube feeding milk to young calves can cause D-lactic acidosis, says Don Sockett, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. At a Land O" Lakes Purina Feed veterinary meeting, Sockett explained that D- and L-lactate are produced in the rumen as a complication of tube feeding, abomasal reflux or incomplete closure of the abomasal groove, and metabolic acidosis can develop. D-lactic acid inhibits brain energy metabolism and there can be a marked reduction in ATP production and neurotransmitter release. Calves exhibit a marked depression, abnormal posture and ataxia, a normal suckle reflex but often have difficulty drinking, and an abnormal (slow or absent) palpebral reflex and menace response. Sockett says treatment of D-lactic acidosis includes: Bottle feed 2 liters of warm milk or milk replacer (do not force feed) Give bicarbonate and glucose containing oral electrolytes (1-2 liters TID) Oral amoxicillin 3-5 days (10 mg/kg BID) Give 3-4 liters of isotonic sodium bicarbonate IV or SubQ containing 5% glucose Shot of thiamine (10 mg/kg) IM Sockett says do not use lactated Ringer"s solution in calves Continue reading >>

Rumen Drinking - Hubbard Feeds

Rumen Drinking - Hubbard Feeds

Do you ever have calves that develop rough hair coats, appear depressed or ill-thrifty, and have poor growth? They may be suffering from rumen acidosis caused by rumen drinking. Rumen drinking is caused by failure of the reticular groove reflex, and it results in rumen acidosis in calves on a liquid diet. The reticular groove, also called esophageal groove, is a muscular structure inside the stomach that acts like a tube. Its job is to shunt the milk into the abomasum, preventing the milk from entering the rumen. See picture. When the reticular groove partially or completely fails to close, milk spills into the rumen and is fermented to lactic acid. This acid formation is not desired and decreases the pH in the rumen causing inflammation in the lining of the stomach. If this inflammatory process happens on a regular basis, the lining of the gut becomes irritated and thickens. The thickening of the wall of the gut decreases the ability of the stomach to contract and absorb nutrients, thus causing mal-nutrition and bloat. The lactic acid that is produced when milk is digested in the rumen, can be absorbed into the calves system causing depression and general weakness. What triggers to esophageal groove to close? Closure of the esophageal groove occurs when calves are stimulated to drink milk or milk replacer. When a calf drinks milk from a bottle or bucket a cascade of events stimulate the nervous system which communicates to the muscles of the groove. The closure of the groove does not happen when the calf drinks water, only milk. This response fades by a few weeks after weaning. What causes dysfunction or failure of the groove? There are a number of conditions that can make calves more susceptible to rumen drinking caused by failure of esophageal groove closure. These Continue reading >>

Construction And Validation Of A Decision Tree For Treating Metabolic Acidosis In Calves With Neonatal Diarrhea

Construction And Validation Of A Decision Tree For Treating Metabolic Acidosis In Calves With Neonatal Diarrhea

Construction and validation of a decision tree for treating metabolic acidosis in calves with neonatal diarrhea Trefz et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.2012 The aim of the present prospective study was to investigate whether a decision tree based on basic clinical signs could be used to determine the treatment of metabolic acidosis in calves successfully without expensive laboratory equipment. A total of 121 calves with a diagnosis of neonatal diarrhea admitted to a veterinary teaching hospital were included in the study. The dosages of sodium bicarbonate administered followed simple guidelines based on the results of a previous retrospective analysis. Calves that were neither dehydrated nor assumed to be acidemic received an oral electrolyte solution. In cases in which intravenous correction of acidosis and/or dehydration was deemed necessary, the provided amount of sodium bicarbonate ranged from 250 to 750 mmol (depending on alterations in posture) and infusion volumes from 1 to 6.25 liters (depending on the degree of dehydration). Individual body weights of calves were disregarded. During the 24 hour study period the investigator was blinded to all laboratory findings. After being lifted, many calves were able to stand despite base excess levels below 20 mmol/l. Especially in those calves, metabolic acidosis was undercorrected with the provided amount of 500 mmol sodium bicarbonate, which was intended for calves standing insecurely. In 13 calves metabolic acidosis was not treated successfully as defined by an expected treatment failure or a measured base excess value below 5 mmol/l. By contrast, 24 hours after the initiation of therapy, a metabolic alkalosis was present in 55 calves (base excess levels above +5 mmol/l). However, the clinical status was not affecte Continue reading >>

How To Treat And Prevent Acidosis In Cattle

How To Treat And Prevent Acidosis In Cattle

Reader Approved Acidosis is a metabolic disorder of the rumen (one of the four chambers of a ruminant's stomach [ruminants include animals like cattle and sheep]) where pH levels decrease very rapidly as a result of a sudden switch in diets from roughage (like hay and grass) to high-concentrates (like grain). Acidity below a pH of 5 to 6 supports lactic-acid producing bacteria, and consequently, as lactic acid builds up in the rumen, it can cause even more acid to be produced. Acidosis never occurs in cattle that are on a primary-forage-based diet, but it does more often in feedlot cattle, feed-tested bulls and heifers, and in dairy cows. There are two types of acidosis: acute and sub-acute. Acute acidosis is the more serious condition, as it hits both hard and very quickly, but less frequently for the animal. Sub-acute acidosis is less intense, but more frequent, and can be chronic for an animal, particularly one that is in the feedlot. Both are covered in the steps below. 1 Know the symptoms of Acute Acidosis as described below. Symptoms: Cattle with acute acidosis may go into shock and die suddenly due to a result of overwhelming increase in acidity in the rumen. Those that do not die quickly are listless and often lethargic, and wander aimlessly around the pen, or just simply don't get up from lying down. They also often appear weak and anorexic and dehydrated. Related health problems may occur from an animal having acute acidosis. Rumen lining may be damaged from the sudden drop in acidity leaving the lining of the stomach to be damaged, causing rumenitis, or an infection of the rumen wall. Inflammation also occurs in the abomasum and intestinal walls, often destroy the villi that are responsible for nutrient absorption from the digesta. Poor feed efficiency, slow Continue reading >>

Ruminal Drinking - Digestive System - Merck Veterinary Manual

Ruminal Drinking - Digestive System - Merck Veterinary Manual

Ruminal drinking is caused by failure of the reticular groove reflex, and it results in ruminal acidosis in calves on a liquid diet. The disorder presents as primary chronic disease (ruminal drinking syndrome) in veal calves, and in its acute form as a complication secondary to different neonatal diseases, most commonly neonatal diarrhea. It has also been described in artificially fed lambs. The reticular groove is a muscular structure extending from the cardia to the reticulo-omasal orifice. Its correct closure is a precondition for the direct passage of ingested milk or milk replacer into the abomasum. When the reticular groove partially or completely fails to close, milk spills into the reticulorumen and is fermented to short-chain fatty acids and/or lactic acid. The subsequent drop in the pH of the ruminal contents to values that occasionally fall below 4 leads to variable degrees of inflammation of the mucosa of the forestomachs and the abomasum. In chronic cases, hyperkeratosis or parakeratosis of the ruminal mucosa can lead to impairment of ruminal motility with chronic or recurrent tympany. Additionally, atrophy of the intestinal villi and a decrease in brush border enzyme activity with maldigestion and malabsorption have been seen. Systemic consequences of acute ruminal drinking are mainly due to absorption of organic acids from the digestive tract. In particular, the l- and d-isomers of lactic acid may lead to metabolic acidosis with the accumulation of d-lactate because of an absence of a specific enzyme for its metabolism in mammals. This accumulation of d-lactate has recently been found to be responsible for clinical signs such as depression, ataxia, and general weakness. Primary dysfunction of the reticular groove occurs as a result of stressful situation Continue reading >>

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