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Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol.78 No.3 September 2013. -

This study evaluated the reliability of various blood parameters to assess the ruminal acidosis in cattle. Six whole heifers were fed three experimental rations in a 3 x 3 Latin square design. The diets had different starch levels: high HS, medium MS or low CT. Ruminal pH values were continuously measured using wireless sensors. To evaluate the severity of ruminal acidosis, the amount of time per day that the pH was below 5.8, 5.5 and 5.0 was recorded. Blood samples were analyzed for complete blood count, venous blood gas and biochemical profile at 8:00 and 12:00 h. The data were analyzed according to a mixed model. Feeding on CT, MS and HS led to significant differences in DMI 7.7 vs. 6.9 vs. 5.1 kg-d; P < 0.01 which modified the amount of time per day that the pH was below 5.0 0 vs. 12 vs. 92 min; P < 0.10. Feeding MS and HS diets led to inflammation as indicated by the significant increment of white blood cells when compared to the CT ones and to blood concentration due to the osmotic pressure at ruminal level. Furthermore a significant decrease of bicarbonate level, CO2 partial pressure and oxyhemoglobin was observed as consequence of the activation of metabolic processes aimed to prevent metabolic acidosis. No differences were observed on blood sampling time, suggesting that one daily blood sample was enough to evaluate the metabolic variations related to ruminal acidosis.

dairy cattle; starch level; ruminal acidosis; blood parameters

Autor: Roberta De Nardi - ; Dipartimento di Medicina Animale, Produzioni e Salute, Università degli Studi di Padova, Viale dell’Unive



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