Rumen acidosis can damage rumen papilae, alter sensitive laminae in
the hoof, and reduce dry matter intake. If the hoof surface is not
smooth or has ridges, ruminal acidosis occurred several weeks to
several months ago.
Conduct a physical examination to rule out other causes of decreased
DM intake. Evaluate the prepartum ration for rumen adaptability.
Consider forage quality (mouldiness, caurseness, dustiness, sorting)
which can limit forage intake.
Observe cud chewing and ruminating time (over 60% of dairy animals
should be ruminating while resting). Check body condition to
determine if animas are thin or heavy. Evaluate manure to see if it
is loose or runny (one possible indication of fibre shortage).
Conduct rumenocentesis on six or more dairy animals per group (a
technique to determine rumen pH and VFA concentration in intact
animals), if indicated. Evaluate milk fat and milk protein
percentages. Offer sodium bicarbonate and observe if condition
improves. Provide hay ad libidum and watch which animals consume it.
Implement a transition diet for dry animals 14-21 days prepartum.
Limit the rate of increasing concentrate feeding postpartum at 0.5
Kg per day. Avoid metabolic disorders in fresh dairy animals. Add or
increase the amount of long forage in the ration. Add a buffer to
the ration. Control forage and concentrate selectivity and