Journal of dairy science

Experimentally induced hyperchloremic and DL-lactic acidosis in calves: an attempt to study the effects of oral rehydration on acid-base status.

PMID 23415528


Many diarrheic calves suffer from metabolic acidosis, which is commonly treated by oral rehydration therapy. Oral rehydration solutions can be prepared in water, milk, or milk replacer. Therefore, the aim of the study was to verify dietary effects of water- or milk replacer-based oral rehydration solutions on parameters of acid-base balance in calves with experimentally induced hyperchloremic and dl-lactate acidosis. In 12 calves, hyperchloremic or dl-lactate acidosis was induced by HCl or dl-lactic acid infusions according to protocols outlined in previous literature. Immediately after induction, the calves were fed with milk replacer or water- or milk replacer-based oral rehydration solutions, or remained fasting, respectively. Blood samples were taken to monitor acid-base status over an experimental period of 4h. Using the protocols, all calves revealed a manifest hyperchloremic or dl-lactate acidosis. Because of high infusion volumes, plasma volume was expanded and effects of feeding regimens on blood parameters were rare. Unexpected clinical aberrations occurred after repeated induction of dl-lactate acidosis: all calves developed a thrombophlebitis of the jugular vein, whereas HCl infusion had no effect on endothelium. Induction of acidosis via infusion is not suitable to study dietary effects. A protocol to induce acidosis and dehydration simultaneously is required to duplicate the metabolic conditions of diarrheic calves. In further investigations, attention should be focused on effects of d-lactate or its metabolites on endothelial tissue.