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Home » Archive » 2020

TDK conference 2020

The effect of drenching on the changes of reticuloruminal pH in the peripartal period in dairy cows
Anker Márton - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department and Clinic of Food Animal Medicine
Supervisor: Dr. András Horváth

Abstract:

The aim of my study is to investigate the effect of drenching on the ruminal pH changes in dairy cows during the peripartal period. During this period, the animal undergoes many changes. One of the most significant of these is that rising milk production increases the energy demand of dairy cows. We can meet the increased energy demand by changing the nutrition, which means increasing the proportion of grain. During this period, it is important to maintain proper rumen function and avoid problems such as subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA). SARA can have a number of negative consequences like decreased feed intake, reduced milk production and milk fat, and it can also cause diarrhea and leg problems. The purpose of drenching in the postpartum period is to stabilize rumen function and support energy balance with electrolytes, energy, and fluid supplementation. With the appearance of boluses that can measure reticuloruminal pH, it has become possible to monitor processes in the rumen.

Our experiment was performed on a large-scale dairy farm by examining 19 multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows. A reticuloruminal pH and temperature measuring bolus (SmaXtec Animal Care Sales GmbH, Graz, Austria) was placed in the rumen of cows 14 days before calving. The inserted bolus recorded the reticuloruminal pH of the animals every 10 minutes. Data were recorded one month after calving with a manual data reader. Drenching was performed once a day after calving for 3 days. Calcium propionate, magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride, sodium chloride and yeast were dissolved in 25 liters of lukewarm water.

Nineteen animals were assigned to SARA sensitive drench (SD, n=6), SARA sensitive control (SC, n=4), SARA tolerant drench (TD, n=4) and SARA tolerant control (TC, n=5) based on their calving date and prepartum reticuloruminal pH. There was a decrease in the mean reticuloruminal pH in both the SARA sensitive and SARA tolerant groups in the days after calving. Drenchings had no significant effect (P>0.05) on either reticuloruminal pH or the time below reticuloruminal pH 5.8 in SD compared to SC. On the contrary, in TD reticuloruminal pH was significantly higher and time below reticuloruminal pH 5.8 remained significantly lower than in TC on the days of the first and the second drenchings (P<0.05).



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