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Effects of different blood buffers administered in electrolyte solution to grain-fed veal calves experiencing diarrhea.

D. L. Renaud




Effects of different blood buffers administered in electrolyte solution to grain-fed veal calves experiencing diarrhea.
D. R. Wood1, R. M. Blome1, L. C. Ribeiro1, A. J. Keunen2, B. W. Keunen2, D. L. Renaud*3. 1Animix Juneau, WI, 2Mapleview Agri Palmerston, ON, Canada, 3Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph Guelph, ON, Canada.

The objective of this randomized controlled trial was to examine differences between treating male dairy calves experiencing diarrhea with either a basic electrolyte powder (BBP) composed of sodium bicarbonate (50.7 mmol/L), a mixed buffer powder (MBP) including sodium bicarbonate (33.8 mmol/L), sodium citrate (8.4 mmol/L), sodium acetate (6.3 mmol/L) and potassium citrate (1.9 mmol/L), or a liquid electrolyte composed of sodium acetate (50.1 mmol/L) (LSA). All 3 electrolyte solutions provided 50 mmol/L of blood buffers and a similar strong ion difference. Holstein male calves sourced from auction barns and local dairies were delivered in one batch to the research site. Calves were housed in individual pens and fed a 24% CP and 17% fat milk replacer (MR) twice daily. Starter grain and water were offered ad libitum. A total of 45 calves were randomly enrolled in 1 of the 3 treatments (MBP: n = 14; HAL: n = 16; BBP: n = 15) when experiencing either 2 consecutive days of a fecal score 2 (runny, spreads easily) or 1 day with a fecal score of 3 (liquid void of solid material). Calves were blocked by the different enrollment criteria. The respective electrolyte was administered via esophageal tube one hour after feeding MR until the fecal score returned to a normal or pasty consistency. Blood gas measures were taken at 1, 8, and 24 h post the initial electrolyte feeding and weight was measured at 1, 2, 7, 14, and 28 d post-enrollment. Mixed repeated measures linear regression models were built using STATA 14 to assess the impact that the electrolyte had on the blood gas parameters and BW. Statistical significance was defined as P < 0.05. As compared with BBP, MBP significantly increased blood CO2 at 8 and 24 h, bicarbonate at 24 h, base excess at 8 and 24 h, and anion gap at 24 h, all indicative of improved blood pH. Feeding LSA noted similar results to MBP. However, LSA had a significantly higher BW on d 2 as compared with MBP. Although a severe dehydration challenge was not present, MBP improved acid-base status of calves compared with BBP, whereas LSA performed similarly to MBP.

Keywords: calf, veal, electrolyte.