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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Review Article

Year: 2018

Authors: Humer, E; Aschenbach, JR; Neubauer, V; Kröger, I; Khiaosa-Ard, R; Baumgartner, W; Zebeli, Q

Title: Signals for identifying cows at risk of subacute ruminal acidosis in dairy veterinary practice.

Source: J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2018; 102(2):380-392

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Baumgartner Walter
Humer Elke
Khiaosa-Ard Ratchaneewan
Kröger Iris
Neubauer Viktoria
Zebeli Qendrim

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Ruminants, Clinical Unit of Ruminant Medicine
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds

Project(s): d-i.INFLACOW: Characterization and prevention of diet-induced inflammation and related immune and metabolic disorders in dairy cows

Advancement of Dairying in Austria

Controlling rumen disorders is critical to ensure successful dairy herd health management. Lactation diets of dairy cows are commonly rich in concentrates and low in physically effective fibre. Feeding of these diets increases the risk of rumen disorders with far-reaching consequences for cattle health, welfare and sustainability of dairy production. The term subacute ruminal acidosis or SARA is often used as a synonym for poor rumen health. Being subclinical, SARA lacks of clear symptoms and is therefore difficult to diagnose and to control in the practice. This review article summarises common and identifies new direct and indirect cow signals related to SARA. We have performed a scientific evaluation and interpretation of each of these cow signals by highlighting their advantages and disadvantages from the practitioner's point of view. The gold standard of SARA cow signals still remains direct measurement of ruminal pH. However, continuous pH monitoring is cost-intensive and often biased by sensor drift. Single-point ruminal pH measurements by oral stomach tubing or rumenocentesis have strong limitations. Therefore, there is a need for reliable and robust markers of SARA that are easily accessible and inexpensive. Such indirect parameters are the observation of chewing and feeding activities, as well as the monitoring of milk, faecal, urine and blood variables. Also, novel technologies that allow rapid and non-invasive measurement of the rumen mucosa thickness and ruminal motility patterns might provide advantages in SARA diagnosis. Due to several constraints of these indirect diagnostic tools, such as limited specificity and sensitivity, we strongly recommend using a combination of the signals to reliably identify cows at risk of SARA in a dairy herd.© 2017 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Keywords Pubmed: Acidosisveterinary
Cattle Diseasesetiology
Risk Factors
Stomach Diseasesveterinary

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