Rumen alkalosis

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The rumen alkalosis is a metabolic disorder in ruminants, wherein the pH in the rumen , that is alkaline at 7.2 to 8 or even higher. It is the opposite of rumen acidosis .


The animals have decreased appetite, puff up repeatedly, have diarrhea , lie down frequently and have accelerated breathing as well as cramps and states of agitation.


Rumen alkalosis is usually caused by an excessively high protein content in the feed ration. A too high proportion of protein-rich concentrate feed can also be the cause. The breakdown of protein leads to an increase in the ammonia concentration in the rumen juice , which causes the pH value to rise. Excessive amounts of urea in the ration, nitrate-rich feed or straw that has been digested with ammonia in large amounts can also cause rumen alkalosis.

Treatment and prevention

The feed ration must have a balanced energy and protein content as required. Particularly with high-performance cows, it is important to ensure that the ration contains a sufficient proportion of proteins that are not broken down in the rumen.

Rumen alkalosis can be treated, for example, by acidifying the rumen content or by transferring rumen juice.