How to treat acidosis in cows

The right diet and quality feed are the key to good cattle health. Digestive system disorders can severely knock down the cow, affect the quality and quantity of milk yield, as well as the health of the offspring. One of the most common diseases of the digestive system is scar acidosis. In this article, we will talk about what kind of ailment it is, about its causes and treatment methods.

What is cow acidosis

Acidosis refers to non-contagious nutritional diseases. It is also called lactic acidosis, since with it an excessive amount of lactic acid (lactate) accumulates in the cow's body, and the pH level decreases. Violation occurs in the scar - the largest pancreas.

The function of this body is to process dry food. The symbionts, the beneficial microorganisms that inhabit the scar, do this. When food for which it is not suitable gets into the pregastric lactic acid begins to be produced. The symbionts cannot cope with lactate. The work of all the pancreatic departments is disturbed, because of which the nutrients of the food are not absorbed. Acid builds up and enters the bloodstream. Thus, intoxication of the whole organism occurs.

The consequences of the disease can be very serious. At first, the amount of milk that the cow gives is significantly reduced, and with untimely medical intervention, acidosis can even lead to the death of cattle.

Causes of occurrence

There are several reasons why an animal may develop acidosis. But all of them are associated with errors in livestock feeding.

Read about the varieties of feed for cattle, their composition and nutritional values.

The main causes of scar acidosis:

  • a sharp change in feed without a smooth transition;
  • fine feed compound feed;
  • lack of rough food;
  • more wet feed than dry;
  • the use of a large number of easily digestible carbohydrates, sugar and starch (grain feed, beets, apples, young corn and its ears, potatoes, molasses, sorghum);
  • one-time large portion of carbohydrate feed;
  • sour food: peroxide silage, waste of cooked vegetables, sour apple pulp, bard.
It happens that a farmer once fed a cow incorrectly, which made her sick. But the most dangerous thing is the illiterate approach, in which the animal often eats the wrong food.

Did you know? Cows have 25, 000 taste buds in their mouths, so they, like humans, can distinguish between different tastes. Most of all they like sweets, but they reject the bitter.

Forms and Symptoms

Cicatricial acidosis can occur in three forms: acute, subclinical, and chronic. But with any form of the disease, the production and fat content of milk is necessarily reduced.

Calves born from sick cows usually lag behind others in development and may die in the first week after birth.


The acute form develops rapidly due to the rapid growth of lactate in the rumen. This can happen if the cow is abruptly transferred to animal feed or given a large portion of carbohydrate feed. Signs of the disease will manifest themselves within a few hours after eating. It’s easy to recognize them:

  • diarrhea and loss of appetite;
  • apathetic behavior;
  • gnashing of teeth;
  • the cow is lying all the time;
  • significantly reduced amount of milk;
  • intense thirst;
  • dry nose and plaque on the tongue;
  • trembling in the body and cramps, but without fever;
  • swollen belly;
  • heart palpitations;
  • breathing is frequent and intermittent;
  • the animal stops chewing gum.

If several or all of these symptoms are present, cattle need emergency medical attention. You can’t do without the intervention of a veterinarian.

Important! Without immediate medical treatment, the cow will die in a day.


Chronic acidosis is usually preceded by a subclinical, or subacute form. It flows easier than acute. But its danger is that the signs are not so obvious or even absent, and therefore it is more difficult to detect the disease on time. The following symptoms indicate an ailment:

  • the amount of milk decreases;
  • poor appetite;
  • weight loss;
  • lethargic behavior;
  • frequent thirst;
  • body temperature decreases.

If you do not pay attention to these signs in time, the subclinical form becomes chronic. To the symptoms listed above are added:

  • diarrhea;
  • refusal of cereal and sugar feeds;
  • the fat content of milk is falling.
As complications of chronic acidosis, other pathologies often accompany it:

  • hoof inflammation (laminitis);
  • liver disease
  • inflammation of the scar mucosa;
  • atony;
  • myocardiostrophy;
  • spontaneous miscarriages.
Important! In sick cows, sickly calves are born that have no immunity.


The key to successful treatment is accurate diagnosis. Only a veterinarian should establish a diagnosis and prescribe treatment, having previously examined the pathogenesis and performed the necessary tests.

For the examination you need to take:

  • content of the scar;
  • blood;
  • urine.
Before the doctor arrives, the farmer may suspect the development of acidosis based on the following factors:

  • a cow chews gum less or more often than normal (55 times per minute);
  • Incorrect feeding has been reported in the last few days.

Find out what to do if the cow has no chewing gum.


After receiving analyzes and determining the form of acidosis, the veterinarian chooses the direction of treatment. But no medicine will help if the feeding remains the same. First of all, you should balance the feed and remove the food that provoked the disease from the diet.

Veterinary care

For the treatment of acute form, the following steps are required:

  1. Rinse the animal’s scar by pouring a solution of soda (750 g per 5 l of water) into the mouth.
  2. Pour inside a decoction of flax, salt water or an aqueous solution of yeast.
  3. Introduce sodium bicarbonate intravenously (7-8 times a day).
  4. Make intramuscular injections for seizures.
  5. Give enzymes ("Matserobatsillin").
Surgery may sometimes be necessary to clear the pancreas.

Folk remedies

Alternative methods of treatment can be used in the chronic course of acidosis. They can also serve as an ambulance in acute form before the doctor arrives. This includes the following actions:

  1. Water the cow with a solution of soda (half a pack of 3 liters of warm water).
  2. Without pausing, pour 1 liter of sunflower oil into her mouth.
  3. Massage the scar area to start digestion.


The methods for preventing acidosis are as follows:

  1. The ration should be properly composed of quality products.
  2. From time to time give soda solution.
  3. The presence of enzyme preparations in the diet (mix with food and give once a day for a month).
Acidosis is a common cattle disease that occurs due to poor feeding. If the farmer controls the process and nutritional quality of his animals, he thereby takes care of their health.

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