Milk acidosis of the rumen in cows is a non-infectious disease. However, a sick animal loses weight, stops giving milk and may even die if it is not time to start treatment. The disease is quite common, so well studied. Its main reason is flaws in the cow's diet, subsequent metabolic disorders. Most often, animals suffer highly productive, important for the economy. It is for this reason that you need to know about acidosis as much as possible in order to recognize it in time and cure it.
Causes of acidosis
There may be several. Sometimes one is enough to make the cow sick, and sometimes they go in a complex. In the latter case, it is more difficult to treat the animal. As a rule, the causes of acidosis are:
- too shredded food;
- lack of coarse fiber in food;
- excessive levels of rapidly digestible carbohydrates in the diet;
- violation of the microflora of the scar;
- too wet food;
- low-quality silage with high acidity.
As you can see, all the ills of illiterate or careless organization of cattle feeding.
So, a cow can get sick with a sharp change in diet or with an excessive amount of ordinary, at first glance, products - cereals, beets, potatoes, apples, silage. The “feed from which it came from”, beloved by many, is a boiling mixture of any vegetable waste: bagasse, vegetables and others, which leads to bad consequences.
What happens to the body of the cow with the disease
When acidosis in the rumen (the first section of the stomach) lactic acid accumulates, and natural substances become less than the norm. The digestion of the animal is impaired, with it the immunity falls. Lactic acid begins to enter the bloodstream, causing destructive processes in the liver. The microflora in the rumen is changing.
Organisms that process cellulose and lactic acid, give way to those who "specialize" in starch. The consequence is the inability to digest roughage, an imbalance of substances in the body of ruminant, a change in pH. Sometimes, when accumulating harmful bacteria in the rumen, sudden death of the animal can occur.
Acidosis is extremely dangerous for pregnant cows. The reason is a change in the placenta. It loses its protective functions, passing to the fetus all the substances circulating in the mother's body, including harmful products of impaired metabolism. They, in turn, affect the metabolism of the fetus, undermine its immune system.
Very often, calves born to sick cows die in the first days of life - their bodies are not able to cope with environmental threats. If the calf survives, it will lag behind in development from peers.
Symptoms of the acute form of the disease
Acidosis in cows is associated with disruption of the digestive system, so it can be easily confused with other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. It is necessary to closely monitor the condition and behavior of the sick animal.
There are three forms of the disease: acute, subacute (subclinical) and chronic.
When an acute illness develops very quickly, it is easiest to recognize. It is also quite easy to understand what caused the acidosis. Symptoms appear very quickly after eating the food that provoked the disease in just a few hours.
The animal suddenly becomes sluggish, stops eating, lies without movement all the time. Breathing is difficult, the cow can also grit its teeth. If you feel her stomach, in the area of the gastric scar will be a clear seal. The body temperature usually does not rise.
A little later, the animal begins to shiver, the gum stops, the stool becomes frequent, fluid. Convulsions and coma are possible. This is the most dangerous form. If you do not immediately begin active treatment, the cow may die within a day.
Subacute or subclinical acidosis
It is not as scary as the acute form, but also dangerous. Most often, subclinical acidosis affects recently calving cows, since after calving they change their diet. If the owner is not competent enough, he changes the diet of the animal abruptly, not allowing the scar microflora to restructure. This causes the disease.
Symptoms develop gradually. In general, they are the same as in the acute form, but the body temperature may rise, the animal loses weight, the muscles noticeably weaken.
If the cow is not treated, her immunity decreases, mastitis develops. Over time, subclinical acidosis becomes chronic. Complications of the subacute stage with the transition to the chronic are all kinds of hoof diseases, reproductive disorders, ruminitis (inflammation of the scar mucosa), myocardial dystrophy, liver abscess and other diseases.
Chronic lactic acidosis
At this stage, moderate apathy, indifference to external stimuli, appetite fluctuations become signs of the disease. The animal eats poorly grain or sugary foods, or completely abandons them. Mucous membranes are paler than usual - due to anemia caused by ailment.
Sometimes the chronic form does not manifest itself at all. Is that the animal gets tired faster or seems sluggish. Therefore, it is important to closely monitor the condition of the cows in the herd.
Cows suffering from chronic acidosis with complications lose their value to the farm because they give very little milk, and it also loses fat. For reproduction, they are also not suitable, because either they cannot bear offspring, or it will be born sick. For this reason, such individuals are culled, they do not participate in the life of the herd and in economic work.
Although acidosis is not contagious, it can infect several animals or a herd as a whole, because the diet is usually the same for the entire population.
Diagnosis: what tests will be needed
All symptoms and treatment of acidosis in cows should be analyzed and monitored by a veterinarian. The primary diagnosis is made if it is proven that the animal is overfeeding with products causing the disease.
Then it is necessary to exclude similar diseases - atony and hypotonia of the fore-stomachs, ketosis. Be sure to conduct a study of the contents of the scar, if necessary - urinalysis and blood. If a cow, for example, ketosis, which is similar to the acidosis of symptoms, in the urine and blood there are ketone bodies. Also, the level of sugar will not be reduced.
With atony and hypotension, the disease course is not so severe, there is no tachycardia, breathing is normal, the condition of the hoofs does not change.
Another acidosis is often confused with alkalosis. To distinguish these two diseases allows the analysis of scar fluid. In acidosis, it acquires an unusual color and smell, the concentration of lactic acid in it is greatly increased.
In addition, its amount in the blood of the animal increases, and alkalinity decreases. Protein is sometimes found in the urine.
Treatment: the faster the better
The most important thing in the acidosis of cattle to begin to provide assistance as soon as possible. The life of the animal depends on it.
The first step is to remove the harmful food. In the acute form, the veterinarian does the scar washing with the use of special probes, or a ruminotomy. During the second procedure, the scar is opened and the contents are removed.
When the scar is peeled, alkali is injected into it - 5 liters of soda solution. The proportion is 150 grams per 1 liter of water. Additionally, flax broth is injected, or 500 grams of regular Baker's yeast dissolved in pure water. Later, the scar of a sick cow is filled with scar content from healthy animals - 3-4 liters. The procedure is carried out through a probe.
Intravenously, 1 liter of sodium bicarbonate solution (7%) is administered to the animal. This can be done 8 times a day or less, depending on the condition of the cow. If there are convulsions, they inject intramuscularly prednisone, B vitamins.
In addition, it is necessary to give the animal inside the enzyme preparation macerobacillin: 10-12 grams per day for at least three days.
There are some methods that breeders use themselves, seeing the characteristic signs of acidosis in a cow. They are from the category of folk remedies, so it is worth using them at your own peril and risk and only when there is absolutely no way to quickly deliver to the farm a veterinarian.
As soon as the cow became ill, dissolve ½ packs of regular baking soda in 3 liters of water and fill them with a cow. The head needs to be held so that it swallows the solution. Following give from 0.5 to 1 liter of vegetable oil (sunflower) and massage the scar. Oil should be warm.
A good sign is the appearance of gurgling in the belly of a cow. So the digestion started. If the animal begins to vomit, it is very good - the scar will clear.
Prevention of cattle acidosis
Since the cause of this disease is a careless attitude to the nutrition of animals, prevention is the opposite - in careful control of the diet.
Be sure to consider the ratio of proteins and carbohydrates in the livestock menu. If there are too many concentrates in it, and there is little fiber-containing food, this is a direct path to acidosis. Concentrates should be no more than 40%, but bare grape (crushed, unrefined grains) of barley and wheat should be completely removed. It is better to give concentrates containing rapeseed, extruded soybeans, ground corn.
Feed beets can be given, but not more than 25 kilograms per day. And it is obligatory to divide at least into two methods.
It is recommended for prophylaxis to give a solution of soda to cows, but it cannot be done all the time. It is better to use enzyme preparations macerobacillin, amylosubtilin, pectofetidin, protosubtilin.
Macerobacillin is given in the proportion of 0.3 grams per 100 kilograms of mass. The rest - at the rate of 0.3-0.5 grams per one feed unit. All drugs should be mixed with food once a day. Prevention is carried out by courses of 30-60 days.
If you found all the necessary information in our article, put a like and tell about it in the comments.