Control of acid-base balance of newborn calves in a large Holstein-Friesian dairy farm
MetadataShow full item record
In summary, data was collected on 157 newborn calves and their dams (79 calves in 2006 and 78 in 2007) and the Temp, pH, pCO2, pO2, HCO3, ABE, Anion gap, SAT Na+, K+, Ca++, Cl-, Hb, Hct were determined. This data was collected within 1 hour after calving and then 24 hours after birth. The results showed 46 acidic calves out of 157 but this number decreased to 4, 24 hours later. Most calves compensated their acidosis by 24 hours after birth. Suggesting that this level was not life threatening for the calves. 40 had a pH of 7.0- 7.2. and 6 calves had a pH below 7.0. The 4 calves that remained acidotic originated from the 6 calves with the lower pH; and compensation of acidosis was extended. Maternal acid- base levels were also calculated and showed some small differences in cCa++ concentrations, all other parameters remained normal. The principal conclusion of this report is that most acidotic calves post partum will return to normal levels within 24 hours. Apart from Ca++, no correlation between the acid- base balance of the dams and their calves was found. Acidotic calves had higher Ca++ levels than their dams. Dams had a slight hypocalcaemia during the beginning of lactation but according to previous research on this topic most dams had no clinical signs and milk fever did not develop, (Szenci et al. 1994). This research was successful in that it collected a lot of information on various acid- base ranges in newborn calves after unaided pregnancy. It also shows that even though acidosis is present in 46 out of 157 calves it is not life threatening and will be compensated for within 24 hours.