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Article| Volume 74, ISSUE 4, P1401-1407, April 1991

Influence of Calcium Chloride on Systemic Acid-Base Status and Calcium Metabolism in Dairy Heifers1

  • Author Footnotes
    2 present address: Animal Science Department, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078
    W.B. Tucker
    Footnotes
    2 present address: Animal Science Department, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078
    Affiliations
    Department of Animal Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546
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  • Z. Xin
    Affiliations
    Department of Animal Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546
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  • Author Footnotes
    3 To whom requests for reprints should be addressed
    R.W. Hemken
    Footnotes
    3 To whom requests for reprints should be addressed
    Affiliations
    Department of Animal Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 This manuscript (90-5-112) is published with the approval of the director of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station
    2 present address: Animal Science Department, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078
    3 To whom requests for reprints should be addressed
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      Abstract

      Twenty heifers (12 Holsteins and 8 Jerseys) ranging from 15 to 22 mo of age (SD = 2.2 mo) and weighing 271 to 486 kg (SD = 72 kg) were offered diets containing 0, .5, 1, and 1.5% CaCl2 for 3 wk followed by a 1-wk readjustment period to evaluate the effect of CaCl2 on acid-base status, diuresis, and Ca metabolism. These evaluations were conducted under conditions simulating changes in dietary cation-anion balance that potentially can be utilized as prophylaxis for parturient paresis during transition from dry cow period to lactation. Free proton concentration in blood increased and blood bicarbonate decreased with increasing dietary CaCl2. Plasma protein and blood hematocrit were unaffected by dietary CaCl2. Plasma Ca and urinary hydroxyproline excretion also were unaffected, but urinary Ca excretion rose with increasing dietary CaCl2, possibly reflecting either increased bone mobilization or intestinal absorption of Ca. Elevating dietary Cl increased both plasma Cl and urinary Cl excretion. During the readjustment period, all differences caused by CaCl2 disappeared. Based on the responses of acid-base status and Ca metabolism to the different dietary concentrations of CaCl2, we suggest that feeding 1% CaCl2 to dry cows for 3 wk prepartum could be a suitable method to prevent parturient paresis without causing detrimental acid-base disturbances.

      Key words

      Abbreviation Key:

      DCAB (dietary cationanion balance), H+ (Free proton concentration), pco2 (partial pressure of co2)

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