Diagnosing ‘ruminal drinking’ with ultrasound technology

What is ‘ruminal drinking’ and what are the consequences?

What is ‘ruminal drinking’ and what are the consequences? In lactating calves, the milk, or milkreplacement, should bypass the rumen and enter the abomasum directly, thanks to closure of the oesophageal groove; otherwise, ‘ruminal drinking syndrome’ occurs.

This is usually due to a failure of closure of the groove, although it can also occur when administering the milk by nasogastric or orogastric tube, or if the milk refluxes from abomasum to rumen. When the milk remains in the rumen for a long time, it undergoes a bacterial fermentation process involving lactobacilli and includes the transformation of lactose into lactate, causing both ruminal and metabolic acidosis.

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