Oral electrolyte composition and fluid meal type influence the abomasal environment in Holstein calves
Oral electrolyte solutions (OES) are an important supplemental therapy to reestablish hydration and electrolyte balance in scouring calves. The osmolality and the type of alkalinizing agent in OES must be considered when evaluating commercial products and developing treatment protocols.
Management constraints may restrict OES administration to occur shortly following milk replacer (MR) feeding. Consumption of volumetrically large, nutrient-dense fluid meals may result in prolonged elevations in gastric pH and delayed abomasal emptying rates. Alterations to the functionality and environment of the abomasum may elicit growth of potentially pathogenic bacterial populations, ultimately resulting in clinical abomasal disease (e.g. abomasitis, bloat). The objectives were to determine the effects of OES composition and liquid meal type on the abomasal environment in healthy Holstein calves.