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Prevalence and consequence of subacute ruminal acidosis in Polish dairy herds.

  • Stefańska, B1
  • Nowak, W1
  • Komisarek, J2
  • Taciak, M3
  • Barszcz, M3
  • Skomiał, J3
  • 1 Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Management, Poznań, University of Life Sciences, Poznań, Poland. , (Poland)
  • 2 Department of Animal Breeding and Product Quality Assessment, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Złotniki, Suchy Las, Poland. , (Poland)
  • 3 The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition Polish Academy of Sciences, Jabłonna, Poland. , (Poland)
Published Article
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2017
DOI: 10.1111/jpn.12592
PMID: 27561658


The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) in Polish high-yielding dairy herds. Also, the relationships between the chemical composition of the diet and the feed particle size, ruminal pH and the occurrence of this metabolic disease and the fermentation profile were determined. Rumen fluid samples were obtained from a total of 213 cows from nine dairy herds (≥20 cows per herd) via rumenocentesis. Almost 14% (30/213) of cows as acidotic (pH<5.6) were found, which is indicative of SARA. Moreover, 44% of the herds were classified as SARA-positive and 56% as SARA-negative. Results of the current study suggested that the physically effective NDF (NDF>1.18 mm) -to-starch ratio could be better indices than peNDF>1.18 mm to preventing the occurrence of SARA, and their level should not be lower than 1.00. Also, linear negative relationships between rumen fluid pH and concentration of propionate, valerate and total VFA were determined. According to the herd's SARA status and rumen fluid biochemical indices, there were significant differences between the pH of rumen fluid (p ≤ 0.01), concentrations of acetate (p ≤ 0.05), propionate (p ≤ 0.05), n-butyrate (p ≤ 0.01), n-valerate (p ≤ 0.01), the sum of VFA (p ≤ 0.01) and ammonia (p ≤ 0.05) in SARA-positive herds compared to SARA-negative herds. The better understanding the strategy of ruminant nutrition to coordinate energy conversion and the role of the ruminal pH in regulating N-NH3 production, absorption through rumen mucosa, urea secretion, the more successfully we can utilize these processes with due recognition of animal needs and welfare, as well as prevention of SARA occurrence.

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