Changing certain dietary cationic and anionic minerals: Impact on blood chemistry, milk fever and udder edema in buffaloes during winter
This study was conducted to examine the influence of varying dietary cation anion difference (DCAD) on acid base status, mineral dynamics, occurrence of milk fever and udder edema in Nili Ravi buffaloes in a randomized complete block design. Four iso-nitrogenous and iso-caloric diets having -22, -11, +11 and +22 meq/100 g DM DCAD were formulated and designated as high anionic (HA), low anionic (LA), low cationic (LC) and high cationic (HC), respectively. These diets were randomly allotted to 20 Nili Ravi buffaloes which were in their last two months of pregnancy. A linear increase in nutrient intake was recorded with increase in the DCAD level. Buffaloes fed with HA diet had higher nutrient digestibility than those fed with HC diet. Increased blood pH and serum HCO3 were noticed in buffaloes fed with LC and HC diets. Serum (Na+ + K+) – (Cl- + S--) was higher in buffaloes fed with LC and HC diets than those fed with LA and HA diets. Serum calcium and chloride increased with decreased DCAD level while serum magnesium, phosphorus and sulphur remained unchanged. Urine pH was also higher in buffaloes fed with LC and HC diets than those fed with LA and HA diets. Sodium, K, Mg and P balance increased with increased DCAD while its reverse was true for Ca and Cl balance. The concentration of progesterone tended to decrease while estrogen increased before and after parturition. However, their concentrations were more pronounced in buffaloes fed with LA and HA diets than those fed with LC and HC diets. One buffalo from each group fed withLC and HC diets had milk fever. Not a single case of milk fever was observed in buffaloes fed with LA and HA diets. Udder edema and mastitis were either absent or less severe in buffaloes fed with LA or HA diets while the problem was sever in buffaloes fed with LC and MC diets. This study revealed that feeding HA and LA diets prepartum can be a useful nutritional tool to minimize or prevent the incidence of milk fever and controlling udder edema.
Key words: Cationic anionic diets, acid base status, hypocalcemia.