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Article

Subacute Ruminal Acidosis in Zebu Cattle: Clinical and Behavioral Aspects

1
Department of Clinical Science, College of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo (FMVZ/USP), 05509-270 São Paulo, Brazil
2
Laboratory of Animal Health, LARSANA, Federal University of Western Pará, UFOPA, 68040-255 Santarém, Brazil
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2021, 11(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010021
Received: 31 October 2020 / Revised: 17 December 2020 / Accepted: 21 December 2020 / Published: 24 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Cattle that are fed high levels of concentrates may develop short-term rumen acidity that may occur frequently leading to necrosis of the rumen wall and reduced nutrient absorption, thereby decreasing animal productivity. This condition is known as subacute acidosis. Here, we evaluated an experimental model to induce such a condition in Nelore cattle, a Zebu breed widely used in Brazil, and assessed several clinical and feeding behavioral patterns of affected animals to better understand the disease pathogenesis and clinical outcomes. Subacute acidosis led to a reduction in food consumption and rumination time, and an increase was observed in the time spent in decubitus. Additionally, subacute acidosis caused different degrees of depression that was more pronounced with higher ruminal lactic acid concentrations.
We evaluated the clinical aspects and feeding behavior of cattle with subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) caused by short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Ten healthy Nelore heifers were subjected to an adjusted SARA induction protocol using citrus pulp (CP). Clinical examinations were performed at baseline and at 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 24 h intervals after induction, with ruminal fluid, blood, and feces sampling. The animals’ feeding behavior was evaluated on, before, and for 3 days after SARA by observing the animals every 5 min for 24 h. The dry matter intake (DMI) was recorded daily. The ruminal pH during SARA was always lower than baseline, with an acidotic duration of 547 ± 215 min, a minimum pH of 5.38 ± 0.16, and an average pH of 5.62 ± 0.1. SARA was mainly caused by SCFAs (maximum 118.4 ± 9.3 mmol/L), with the production of l-lactic acids (7.17 mmol/L) and d-lactic acids (0.56 mmol/L) 6 h after the experiment began. The DMI was reduced by 66% and 48% on days 1 and 2, respectively, and returned to normal levels on day 3. SARA caused a reduction in feed intake and rumination time, as well as an increase in the time spent in decubitus on days 1 and 2. These results were influenced by the ruminal pH, ruminal movement, and osmolarity. Furthermore, SARA caused different degrees of depression, which became more pronounced with higher ruminal lactic acid concentrations. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARA; Nelore; feeding behavior; citrus pulp; clinical picture SARA; Nelore; feeding behavior; citrus pulp; clinical picture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Minami, N.S.; Sousa, R.S.; Oliveira, F.L.C.; Dias, M.R.B.; Cassiano, D.A.; Mori, C.S.; Minervino, A.H.H.; Ortolani, E.L. Subacute Ruminal Acidosis in Zebu Cattle: Clinical and Behavioral Aspects. Animals 2021, 11, 21. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010021

AMA Style

Minami NS, Sousa RS, Oliveira FLC, Dias MRB, Cassiano DA, Mori CS, Minervino AHH, Ortolani EL. Subacute Ruminal Acidosis in Zebu Cattle: Clinical and Behavioral Aspects. Animals. 2021; 11(1):21. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010021

Chicago/Turabian Style

Minami, Natalia S., Rejane S. Sousa, Francisco L.C. Oliveira, Mailson R.B. Dias, Débora A. Cassiano, Clara S. Mori, Antonio H.H. Minervino, and Enrico L. Ortolani. 2021. "Subacute Ruminal Acidosis in Zebu Cattle: Clinical and Behavioral Aspects" Animals 11, no. 1: 21. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010021

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