Rumen Acidosis in Small Ruminants and Its Therapeutic Management

Document Type : Research/Original Article


Department of Veterinay Medicine, Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, G.B. Pant University of Agricultural and Technology, Uttarakhand, India


Forty two small ruminants, 26 (61.90%) sheep and 16 (38.10%) goats were treated for rumen acidosis. 19 (45.24%), 12 (28.57%), 6 (14.29%) and 5 (11.90%) animals had eaten apple, cooked rice (wazwan left over) turnip and chapatti respectively and manifested clinical form of ruminal acidosis with, 2.86%; (n=18) as mild (Rumen fluid pH=6.32 ±0.09316), 38.09%;(n=16)moderate (Rumen fluid pH=5.71 ±0.074) and 19.05%; (n=8) (Rumen fluid pH=4.54 ±0.159) as severe ruminal acidosis and accordingly they were classified as group I, II and III, respectively. In group I rumen motility was reduced (1.67±0.162) and subsequently it was almost absent in group III(0.13±0.125). Rectal temperature recorded to be 102.58±0.166, 101.26±0.188and 100.83±1.061in group I, II and III respectively. There was a significant increase heart and respiratory tares before treatment in all the groups. A significant increase in blood glucose and Hb, PCV and TEC was also observed in mild, moderate and severe acidotic animals. Therapeutic measures consisted of neutralization of acidity by oral and / or parenteral use of isotonic (1.3%) and hypertonic (5%) sodium bicarbonate with adequate fluid therapy. Oral and parenteral use of isotonic (1.3%) sodium bicarbonate was given to moderate rumen acidosis. Administration of oral sodium bicarbonate, bolus Rumentas was given to groups I and II and a course of antihistaminic drug was also given to all the groups of animals. Moreover, animals of group II and III were also offered intravenous injection of high dose vitamin B1 along with fluids. Gastric lavage and cud transplantation following rumenotomy was done in animals of group III. All animals except two (one each from group II and III) were recovered uneventfully.


Basak D.N., Das A.K. and Chekrabarti A. (1994). Studies on endocrinal changes in experimentally induced acid indigestion in goats. Indian Vet. J. 71, 587-589.
Dunlop R.H. and Hammond P.B. (1965). D-lactic acidosis of ruminants. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci.119, 1109-1132.
Heuter F.G., Shaw J.C. and Doetsch R.N. (1916). Absorption and dissimilation of lactates added to the bovine rumen and the resulting effects on blood glucoses. J. Dairy Sci. 39,1430-1435.
Huber T.L. (1976). Physiological effects of acidosis on feedlot cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 43, 902-909.
Jain N.C. (1986). Schalm’s Veterinary Haematology. 4th Ed., Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia.
Kaneko J.J., Harvey J.W. and Bruss M.L. (1999). Clinical Biochemistry of Domestic Animals. Harcourt Brace and company Asia Pvt. Ltd. Singapore.
Kasaralikar V.R., Singari N.A., Hafiz M.d., Prasad P.E. and Kumar S.P. (2007). Alterations in ruminal fluid and blood in acute ruminal acidosis of goats. Indian J. Vet. Med. 27, 111-114.
Nour M.S.M., Abusamna N.T. and Hago B.E.D. (1998). Experimentally induced lactic acidosis in Nubian goats: clinical, biochemical and pathological investigations. Small Rumin. Res. 31, 7-17.
Radostits O.M., Gay C.C., Blood D.C. and Hinchcliff K.W. (2000). In: Veterinary Medicine, A Text Book of Disease of Cattle, Sheep, Pig and Horses. 9th Ed., W.B. Sounders, Harcourt Publisher Ltd. London.
Ram P.K., Verma S.P. and Agrawal A.K. (2007). Effect of therapeutic measures on important clinical parameters in acidotic goats. Indian J. Vet. Med. 27, 37-39.
Sarma S. and Nath R. (2005). Studies on rumen acidosis in goat and efficacy of treatment. Intas. Polivet. 6, 64-65.
Shihabudhin P.K., Usha N.P., Ajithkumar S. and Alex P.C. (2003). Haematological change in experimental luminal acidosis in goats. Indian J. Vet. Med. 23, 93-95.
Snedecor G.W. and Cochran W.G. (1994). Statistical Methods. Viii edn. Oxford and IBH Publishing Company, New Delhi.
Tanwar R.K. and Mathur P.D. (1983). Biochemical and microbial changes in experimentally induced rumen acidosis in goats. Indian J. Anim. Sci. 53, 271-274.
Uhart B.A. and Carroll F.D. (1967). Acidosis in beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 26,1195-1201.
Walker D.J. (1968). The position of lactic acid and its derivatives in the nutrition and metabolism of ruminants. Nutr. Abstr. Rev. 38, 1-8. 
  • Receive Date: 10 November 2011
  • Revise Date: 29 January 2012
  • Accept Date: 08 February 2012
  • First Publish Date: 01 March 2013