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Rumen pH and hoof health in two groups of captive wild ruminants


Zenker, W; Clauss, Marcus; Huber, J; Altenbrunner-Martinek, B (2009). Rumen pH and hoof health in two groups of captive wild ruminants. In: Clauss, M; Fidgett, A; Hatt, J M; Huisman, T; Hummel, J; Janssen, G; Nijboer, J; Plowman, A. Zoo Animal Nutrition, Vol. IV. Fürth: Filander, 247-254.

Abstract

The connection between a feeding regime with a high proportion of concentrates and laminitis is well recognized in domestic animal medicine but has received little attention in captive wild hoofstock. We used the occasion of a transport of two ruminant groups, that necessitated immobilization, for an evaluation of the appearance of the hooves on the one, and of the pH of the rumen fluid gained by ruminocentesis on the other hand. A group of eight Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus) had a median rumen pH of 7.2 and a low hoof ring score, indicative of good hoof health. A group of seven blackbuck antelope (Antilope cervicapra), in contrast, had a median rumen pH of 6.0, and an intermediate hoof ring score and elevated hoof temperatures, indicative of a chronic laminitis. In relation to body weight, the feeding regime of the blackbuck included a higher proportion of concentrates. These observations suggest that a connection between concentrate feeding, low rumen pH, and hoof health could exist in captive wild ruminants, and that a feeding regime that prevents a drop of rumen pH could support hoof health.

The connection between a feeding regime with a high proportion of concentrates and laminitis is well recognized in domestic animal medicine but has received little attention in captive wild hoofstock. We used the occasion of a transport of two ruminant groups, that necessitated immobilization, for an evaluation of the appearance of the hooves on the one, and of the pH of the rumen fluid gained by ruminocentesis on the other hand. A group of eight Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus) had a median rumen pH of 7.2 and a low hoof ring score, indicative of good hoof health. A group of seven blackbuck antelope (Antilope cervicapra), in contrast, had a median rumen pH of 6.0, and an intermediate hoof ring score and elevated hoof temperatures, indicative of a chronic laminitis. In relation to body weight, the feeding regime of the blackbuck included a higher proportion of concentrates. These observations suggest that a connection between concentrate feeding, low rumen pH, and hoof health could exist in captive wild ruminants, and that a feeding regime that prevents a drop of rumen pH could support hoof health.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:21 Aug 2009 15:58
Last Modified:07 Sep 2016 08:41
Publisher:Filander
Series Name:Zoo Animal Nutrition
Number:4
Official URL:http://www.filander.de
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-20245

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