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Rumen Acidosis In Sheep

Rumen Acidosis

Rumen Acidosis

Managing disease can be a frustrating proposition. This Guide can help you identify which disease is damaging your cattle. Rumen acidosis is a metabolic disease of cattle. Like most metabolic diseases it is important to remember that for every cow that shows clinical signs, there will be several more which are affected sub-clinically. Acidosis is said to occur when the pH of the rumen falls to less than 5.5 (normal is 6.5 to 7.0). In many cases the pH can fall even lower. The fall in pH has two effects. Firstly, the rumen stops moving, becoming atonic. This depresses appetite and production. Secondly, the change in acidity changes the rumen flora, with acid-producing bacteria taking over. They produce more acid, making the acidosis worse. The increased acid is then absorbed through the rumen wall, causing metabolic acidosis, which in severe cases can lead to shock and death. Cause The primary cause of acidosis is feeding a high level of rapidly digestible carbohydrate, such as barley and other cereals. Acute acidosis, often resulting in death, is most commonly seen in ‘barley beef’ animals where cattle have obtained access to excess feed. In dairy cattle, a milder form, sub-acute acidosis, is seen as a result of feeding increased concentrates compared to forage. Symptoms Acute acidosis often results in death, although illness and liver abscesses may be seen before hand. Cattle may become depressed, go off feed, have an elevated heart rate or diarrhea. Sub-acute: Reduced feed intake Poor body condition and weight loss Unexplained diarrhoea Temperature Pulse rate and respiratory rate may rise Lethargy Treatment Because subacute ruminal acidosis is not detected at the time of depressed ruminal pH, there is no specific treatment for it. Secondary conditions may be treat Continue reading >>

Grain Overload In Ruminants

Grain Overload In Ruminants

Grain overload is an acute disease of ruminants that is characterized by rumen hypomotility to atony, dehydration, acidemia, diarrhea, depression, incoordination, collapse, and in severe cases, death. Etiology and Pathogenesis: The disease is most common in cattle that accidentally gain access to large quantities of readily digestible carbohydrates, particularly grain. Grain overload also is common in feedlot cattle when they are introduced to heavy grain diets too quickly. Wheat, barley, and corn are the most readily digestible grains; oats are less digestible. Less common causes include engorgement with apples, grapes, bread, batter’s dough, sugar beets, potatoes, mangels, or sour wet brewer’s grain that was incompletely fermented in the brewery. The amount of feed required to produce acute illness depends on the kind of grain, previous experience of the animal with that grain, the nutritional status and condition of the animal, and the nature of the ruminal microflora. Adult cattle accustomed to heavy grain diets may consume 30–45 lb (15–20 kg) of grain and develop only moderate illness, whereas others may become acutely ill and die after eating 20 lb (10 kg) of grain. Ingestion of toxic amounts of highly fermentable carbohydrates is followed within 2–6 hr by a change in the microbial population in the rumen. The number of gram-positive bacteria (such as Streptococcus bovis) increases markedly, which results in the production of large quantities of lactic acid. The rumen pH falls to ≤5, which destroys protozoa, cellulolytic organisms, and lactate-utilizing organisms, and impairs rumen motility. The low pH allows the lactobacilli to utilize the carbohydrate and to produce excessive quantities of lactic acid. The superimposition of lactic acid and its salts Continue reading >>

Acidosis In Weaned Lambs

Acidosis In Weaned Lambs

by: Dr J.D. Bobb Acidosis is a term that is used to describe grain overload. Sheep are ruminants which means they are designed to utilize roughage. The bacteria that live in the rumen are very capable of converting roughage into useable energy. Modern lamb production has producers feeding more concentrates such as corn which are highly fermentable in the rumen. A lamb that is placed on a high concentrate ration too rapidly will become acidic. The rumen bacteria require time to change, this takes approximately three -four weeks. Ration changes need to be made gradually. Start the lambs on a diet that contains a mixture of roughage and concentrate. Every one – two weeks the ration can be stepped up to include more concentrates. Lambs that are acidic are weak, depressed, refuse to eat or move normally. Lambs may scour if they live long enough before becoming comatose. Many will die in two to three days if not treated. Lambs that survive have a high chance of having founder (laminitis) due to the effects of histamine on the growth area of the hoof. Also liver abscesses are common in lambs that survive the acidosis. Treatment: Must be early and aggressive. First 12-24hours after the overload. Oral or intravenous sodium bicarbonate. Penicillin orally to reduce acid producing bacteria in rumen. Mineral oil orally. Usually one quart. Activated charcoal orally. Injectable antihistamine and Banamine (Flunixin) given subcutaneously. Lambs will need to be restarted very slowly after treatment. Start them on roughage for one-two weeks and slowly add the concentrates. Lambs that have become acidic are often hard to finish. Keeping hay in the ration at ¼ to ½ pound helps. Adding free choice bicarbonate may be an adequate preventative. If you notice the lambs backing off of feed th Continue reading >>

Importance Of Lamb Nutrition Management To Avoid Acidosis Back »

Importance Of Lamb Nutrition Management To Avoid Acidosis Back »

Written collaboratively by Nicole Schwebach and Jeff Held. Acidosis (also known as lactic acidosis, grain overload, over-eating or grain poisoning) is a metabolic condition that most commonly occurs with lambs offered grain based diets, but can affect mature sheep. Over-consumption of grain causes excess production of lactic acid in the rumen resulting in pH levels falling below the threshold to maintain microbial bacteria populations and normal rumen function. Since acidosis is not an infectious or contagious disease, it is one of the easier conditions to control since it is dependent on nutrition management decisions. Nutrition management related to starch intake from feed grains is the primary cause of acidosis in fed lambs. The key risk factors for acidosis involving management are abrupt shifts in the amount and rate of starch break down, and improper transition from fiber to starch based diets. Typically lambs are offered growing/finishing diets as grain + pelleted lamb supplement or mixed diets on a self-fed basis, it is expected that either practice results in excellent lamb growth and health. To meet these expectations feeding management must be consistent by having feed access at all times and minimize changes in the physical form of the dietary ingredients. For intensively managed farm flock systems transition from creep to growing/finishing diets is generally seamless; however for lambs reared on pasture it is critical to properly transition lambs from their fiber based diet to those with high levels of starch. An inadequate transition period to starch based diets is a most common cause of lamb acidosis. Observations of acidosis are generally noted 12 to 48 hours following a disruption in good nutrition management. Common signs to look for are loose stools, Continue reading >>

Acidosis

Acidosis

Showing Sheep: Select, Feed, Fit, & Show Lamb Problems: Detecting, Diagnosing,... Sheep Raiser's Manual Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep: Breeds,... Why Grassfed Is Best! Veterinary Book for Sheep Farmers Acidosis is a condition caused by the over feeding of grain. The bacteria in the rumen make acid from the carbohydrates in the grain. If too much acid is formed, it is absorbed into the blood stream and causes the whole body to become acidic. This can be a life-threatening situation. Severe acidosis may resemble pneumonia except that signs of the disease come on very rapidly. The animal will have appeared fine at the last feeding and now is very depressed. Treat as for pneumonia but in addition give 1 pint of water in a pop bottle to which you have added 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). Give slowly and give the lamb plenty of time to swallow. You may have to repeat this several times over the rest of the day. The soda water should make him feel better and act perkier. If he begins to act depressed again, give him more soda water. This is a life threatening problem and it is a good idea to call your veterinarian. For less severe acidosis, see 2 and 3 under diarrhea. Live Sheep Cameras User Name: sheep Password: sheep Care and Feeding of Your Lamb, TVSP Click on the links below to learn more Acidosis Bloat Bluetongue Care Copper Toxicity Cough Dewormers Diarrhea Feed Feed Hay First Feed Rations Foot Rot Limping Parts of a Sheep Pneumonia Polioencephalomalacia Polyarthritis Rectal Prolapse Sheep Gestation Table Sheep Selection Checklist Sick Lamb Snotty Nose Sore Mouth Tails - Dock Urolithiasis Market Lamb Yield Grade Table HOME Continue reading >>

Sheep Diseases

Sheep Diseases

Ruminal acidosis is a dietary condition resulting from various degrees of over-eating on starchy foods, such as cereals and concentrate rations. Therefore, it often occurs under intensive sheep finishing systems (Piercy and Kemp, 1990). The degree of ruminal acidosis can vary from cases of indigestion with a mild watery scour to cases of sudden death or a very severe and distressing illness resulting in death (Braun et al., 1992). In more severe cases, the outlook is often poor and it may lead to complications, such as pregnancy toxaemia. Ruminal Acidosis is often caused by sudden changes of diet, such as the introduction of concentrates in late pregnancy, altering the composition of micro-organisms in the rumen . In North America ruminal acidosis is frequently seen in feedlot lambs and lactating or pregnant ewes that have experienced rapid changes in their ration (Wolf, 2007), but it is unlikely to be seen in extensive grass-fed systems. In Mediterranean countries concentrate-based diets lead to cases of sub-acute acidosis (Blanco et al., 2015) The rumen becomes more acidic than it should because concentrate-based diets increase volatile fatty acids production in the rumen, increasing the fraction of propionate and lactate which lowers the rumen pH (Enemark, 2008). An acidic rumen leads to inflammation or rumenitis (Patra et al., 1993; Piercy and Kemp, 1990). This in turn causes diarrhoea, dehydration and sometimes death. The energy metabolism in the liver of the animal may also be altered due to a limited availability of carbohydrate substrate (Huber et al., 1984). Clinical signs of mild sub-acute cases are diarrhoea, but with continued appetite. In more severe cases animals are depressed, they stop eating and are often found standing or lying with ears down and grind Continue reading >>

Ruminal Lactic Acidosis In Sheep And Goats.

Ruminal Lactic Acidosis In Sheep And Goats.

Abstract The clinical findings in 37 sheep and goats with acute ruminal lactic acidosis included a disturbed general condition characterised by anorexia, apathy, teeth grinding and muscle twitching, ruminal stasis, and the excretion of soupy or watery faeces. The ruminal fluid of affected animals was milky, had a sour odour and a low pH. There was a predominance of Gram-positive bacteria in smears of ruminal fluid. In comparison with 10 control animals, the rumen fluid of 23 sheep with ruminal lactic acidosis had higher lactic acid and lower volatile fatty acid concentrations. In addition, the affected animals often had haemoconcentration and metabolic acidosis. Treatment included single or repeated transfer of ruminal fluid from healthy cows and, depending on the severity, the administration of antacids, yeast and chlortetracycline, and the intravenous infusion of isotonic sodium chloride and 5 per cent sodium bicarbonate solutions. Of the 37 treated sheep and goats, four died within 24 hours, and three others were euthanased after one, two and three days because their condition rapidly deteriorated. Thirty animals were discharged one to nine days after treatment. Twenty-nine of them (78.4 per cent) recovered completely but one was euthanased later. Continue reading >>

Rumen Acidosis

Rumen Acidosis

Rumen Acidosis The NADIS data show that the number of cases of acidosis seen by NADIS vets has increased significantly this winter (2002-2003). The number of cases is likely to remain high until turnout at least, and may increase when the spring-calving season increases, particularly in higher yielding herds. Like most metabolic diseases it is important to remember that for every cow that shows clinical signs, there will be several more which are affected sub-clinically. What is acidosis? Acidosis is said to occur when the pH of the rumen falls to less than 5.5 (normal is 6.5 to 7.0). In many cases the pH can fall even lower. The fall in pH has two effects. Firstly, the rumen stops moving, becoming atonic. This depresses appetite and production. Secondly, the change in acidity changes the rumen flora, with acid-producing bacteria taking over. They produce more acid, making the acidosis worse. The increased acid is then absorbed through the rumen wall, causing metabolic acidosis, which in severe cases can lead to shock and death. The primary cause of acidosis is feeding a high level of rapidly digestible carbohydrate, such as barley and other cereals. Acute acidosis, often resulting in death, is most commonly seen in ‘barley beef’ animals where cattle have obtained access to excess feed. In dairy cattle, a milder form, sub-acute acidosis, is seen as a result of feeding increased concentrates compared to forage. It is this form of the disease that NADIS vets have reported increased numbers of. CLINICAL SIGNS Sub-acute acidosis Reduced milk yield: Initially a moderate decline, eventually a sudden drop Milk fat significantly reduced Body condition and weight loss Reduction in appetite (initially non-forage feeds) Dull, stary coat Reduction in cud-chewing Mild to moderat Continue reading >>

Grain Overload, Acidosis, Or Grain Poisoning In Stock

Grain Overload, Acidosis, Or Grain Poisoning In Stock

What is grain overload? Grain overload (acidosis, grain poisoning) occurs when cattle, sheep or goats eat large amounts of grain. The grain releases carbohydrate into the animal's rumen and this rapidly ferments rather than being digested normally. Bacteria in the rumen produce lactic acid, resulting in acidosis, slowing of the gut, dehydration and often death. What causes grain overload? Wheat and barley are the most common causes of grain overload, but it occasionally occurs with oats and lupins. Crushing or cracking of grain by a hammermill increases the likelihood of grain overload, because these processes result in quicker release of carbohydrates. Cases are often seen when: stock are suddenly grain fed without being gradually introduced to the grain or pellets there is a sudden change in feeding regimen or in the grains being fed stock graze newly harvested paddocks (where there may be spilled grain or unharvested areas) stock get unplanned access to grain or pellets, such as around silos. Which classes of stock are affected? Cattle sheep and goats of any age can be affected if they eat more grain than they can digest normally. Signs of grain overload: depressed appearance lying down diarrhoea dehydration and thirst bloating (of the left side of the abdomen) staggery or tender gait and 'sawhorse' stance deaths. What are the treatments for grain overload? Consult a veterinarian for a treatment plan, as treatment will vary according to the severity of the disease. Treatments include intravenous fluids, drenching with bicarbonate solution or milk of magnesia, intraruminal antibiotic injections, thiamine or steroid injections, and surgery for very valuable animals. Following grain overload, the rumen lining takes up to six weeks to repair, so recovering animals will s Continue reading >>

Acidosis

Acidosis

Acidosis is also known as toxic indigestion. It occurs when a high proportion of concentrate (carbohydrates) is fed in the ration, either acutely or chronically. Signs: Signs may include depression, lack of appetite, bloat, lack of rumination, staggering, diarrhea or lack of manure, muscle twitching, and teeth grinding. Severe rumen acidosis can be accompanied by systemic and often fatal acidosis. Respiratory distress, shock, cardiovascular collapse, coma, seizures and death occur in severe cases. Treatment: Administer 2 to 3 ounces of sodium bicarbonate by mouth, which will help neutralize acid in the rumen. Magnesium hydroxide or magnesium oxide can also be used to neutralize rumen acid. Encourage consumption of long-stemmed grass hay and water. Many animals with acidosis will require IV fluids to survive. Antibiotics will help prevent secondary bacterial overgrowth with undesirable organisms. Thiamin treatment is recommended because polioencephalomalacia is a potential sequela. Anti-inflammatories will help prevent toxicity and founder. Probiotics should be administered to replace the beneficial rumen organisms that have been killed due to low rumen pH. If a goat is showing clinical signs of this disease, a veterinarian should be called to administer proper treatment due to the seriousness of the illness, complicated treatment and number of possible severe complications. Control/Prevention: Control consists of gradual introduction of goats to grain. If goats are being fed a high-concentrate diet, distribute grain over three or more meals per day, at 2 to 3 pounds per meal. Feed whole grains instead of finely-ground grains and dry grain instead of wet. Feed roughage before grain, first thing in the morning. Supplement with bicarbonate of soda or calcium carbonate and Continue reading >>

Preventing Diseases In Lambs

Preventing Diseases In Lambs

The previous article started a series on sheep health management. In that article, background information on preventing disease in sheep was covered. Management practices such as; keeping a closed flock, timely vaccination, smart purchasing, and working with a veterinarian were discussed. This article will cover diseases that commonly afflict lambs. Actually, most of these diseases also can affect adult sheep, they just occur more commonly in lambs. A brief overview of each disease will be given, with special emphasis on preventions. Enterotoxemia: This disease is often called overeating disease or pulpy kidney. It is a disease that is caused by bacteria. The bacterium are clostridial perfringens types C and D. Type C occurs in newborn lambs up to three to four days old. Type D can affect sheep of any age, but is most common in suckling or feedlot lambs. Both strains of the bacterium are commonly found in soil and manure. Under normal circumstances, when animals ingest the bacterium, there is not a disease issue as it is often simply excreted. However, when lambs ingest a high quantity of milk, feed, pasture, or all three, the bacteria population can increase in numbers rapidly. Thus, the common name, “overeating” disease. Often, the type D strain more commonly affects single lambs rather than twins. These lambs receive more milk and are often stronger and more aggressive eaters. What actually kills the lambs is an endotoxin secreted by the bacteria. The most common first symptom of enterotoxemia that most producers see is a dead lamb. If the lamb was a single, undocked, uncastrated and in all appearances seemed healthy and quite robust, it very well could be enterotoxemia. The period of time from symptoms to death is very short, not more than an hour or two. Having Continue reading >>

Rumen Acidosis

Rumen Acidosis

Other Names: Grain overload, corn toxicity, lactic acidosis, carbohydrate engorgement Cause Rumen acidosis occurs when wild or domestic ruminants (deer, elk, moose, cattle, sheep etc.) ingest large quantities of readily digestible and highly fermentable carbohydrates, usually grain. Corn, wheat, and barley are most commonly responsible for rumen acidosis, while apples, grapes, bread, and sugar beets are less commonly involved. Significance This disease occurs in wild deer, elk, and moose when they suddenly gain access to a source of grain. Rumen acidosis can result in sporadic rapid deaths, but does not currently have a significant impact on wild ruminant populations. However, in restored or endangered populations it can be a serious source of mortality. In addition, its affect may be underestimated because of the inability to quantify those who survive and yet have shortened life spans because of the effects of this disease. Species Affected Rumen acidosis can occur in any ruminant. This disease is commonly observed in deer, elk, moose, and domestic cattle. Bison seem less susceptible, but can still suffer from grain overload. Distribution This disease can occur anywhere in the world when wild or domestic ruminants are suddenly introduced to large quantities of carbohydrates. Transmission/Disease Development The natural diet of deer and elk changes with the season and available foodstuffs but is generally high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. A sudden change in diet to high carbohydrate and low fiber disrupts the normal microflora (bacteria, protozoa, and fungi) in the rumen that is necessary for digestion. Carbohydrate digesting bacteria, which are normally present at lower densities, overwhelm the other flora and produce large amounts of lactic acid. This reduces t Continue reading >>

Ruminal Acidosis In Feedlot: From Aetiology To Prevention

Ruminal Acidosis In Feedlot: From Aetiology To Prevention

The Scientific World Journal Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 702572, 8 pages Department of Animal Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Santiago de Compostela, Campus Universitario, 27002 Lugo, Spain Academic Editor: Ingo Nolte Copyright © 2014 Joaquín Hernández et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Abstract Acute ruminal acidosis is a metabolic status defined by decreased blood pH and bicarbonate, caused by overproduction of ruminal D-lactate. It will appear when animals ingest excessive amount of nonstructural carbohydrates with low neutral detergent fiber. Animals will show ruminal hypotony/atony with hydrorumen and a typical parakeratosis-rumenitis liver abscess complex, associated with a plethora of systemic manifestations such as diarrhea and dehydration, liver abscesses, infections of the lung, the heart, and/or the kidney, and laminitis, as well as neurologic symptoms due to both cerebrocortical necrosis and the direct effect of D-lactate on neurons. In feedlots, warning signs include decrease in chewing activity, weight, and dry matter intake and increase in laminitis and diarrhea prevalence. The prognosis is quite variable. Treatment will be based on the control of systemic acidosis and dehydration. Prevention is the most important tool and will require normalization of ruminal pH and microbiota. Appropriate feeding strategies are essential and involve changing the dietary composition to increase neutral detergent fiber content and greater particle size and length. Appropriate grain processing can control the fermentation rate while additives such as prebio Continue reading >>

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