Submitted to: Joint Abstracts of the American Dairy Science and Society of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2005
Publication Date: 7/23/2005
Citation: Hall, M. B. 2005. Ruminal acidosis: beyond the rumen [abstract]. Journal of Dairy Science 88 (Suppl. 1): 377.
Technical Abstract: Although the main focus in ruminal acidosis has been on the rumen, it might be more accurate to consider this nutritional disorder as a syndrome that can affect systems beyond the rumen and outside of the gastrointestinal tract. Notwithstanding that ruminal acidosis is by definition related to low ruminal pH and damage to that compartment of the gut, damage and impairment of function associated with ruminal acidosis has been reported for diverse systems. Among the signs associated with ruminal acidosis, mucin casts shed in feces are indicative of destruction of epithelium in the large intestine. Apparently similar to damage caused by grain overload in equines, it may offer a link between the species for routes by which laminitis may be induced. It also suggests that excessive fermentation in other portions of the gastrointestinal tract may be involved in the syndrome of ruminal acidosis. The damage and changes reported with induced acute ruminal acidosis offer indication of the array of systems that may be compromised: reduced oxidative metabolism of neutrophils, pneumonia, liver abscesses, laminitis, damage to various organ systems, gastroenteritis, fungal invasion of damaged tissues, and reduced saliva secretion. The study of ruminal acidosis has focused largely on the rumen. A broader view of tissues and functions affected might offer a better sense of the impact of this disorder on the animal and of appropriate treatments. Key Words: Ruminants, Health, Nutrition