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Evaluation of factors associated with resistance to sub-acute ruminal acidosis Open Access


Other title
barley grain
gene expression
precision processing
ruminal acidosis
milk production
volatile fatty acid absorption
dairy cows
volatile fatty acid metabolism
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Schlau, Nicole A
Supervisor and department
Oba, Masahito (Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science)
Examining committee member and department
Baracos, Vickie (Oncology)
Guan, Leluo (Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science)
McFadden, Thomas (Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science)
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
Animal Science
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Sub-acute ruminal acidosis is a digestive disorder experienced by animals fed a high grain diet, and causes substantial economic loss to the dairy industry. The objective of this research was to evaluate novel approaches to manage and prevent sub-acute ruminal acidosis. In Study 1, I found that precision processing barley (processing based on kernel size) does not improve dairy cow productivity. In Study 2, I showed that the extent of ruminal acidosis varies greatly among animals fed a common diet, and that acidosis resistant steers have lower volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations compared with susceptible steers, suggesting that resistant steers absorb more VFA, produce less VFA, or both. Further, expression of Na+/H+ exchanger-3, which imports sodium from the cell and exports hydrogen to the ruminal lumen, was higher for resistant steers. These findings suggest that Na+/H+ exchanger-3 is involved in the physiology of VFA absorption, and may play a key role in acidosis resistance.
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