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To compare concentrations of acetic, propionic, butyric, and i- and n-valerianic acids in digesta samples obtained from the rumen, cecum, proximal loop of the ascending colon (PLAC), and rectum of healthy cows and cows with cecal dilatation or dislocation (CDD).


20 cows with CDD and 20 healthy cows.


Samples were collected from all sites during surgical correction of CDD and also from the rectum 1, 2, and 3 days after surgery (group CDD). Samples from healthy (control) cows, matched on the basis of diet and milk yield, were obtained at a slaughterhouse. Concentrations of volatile fatty acids (VFA) were analyzed by use of gas chromatography. Absolute concentration of each VFA was additionally corrected for pH to allow calculation of the concentration of undissociated VFA.


Absolute concentration and concentration of the undissociated form of all analyzed VFA were significantly increased in samples collected from the cecum and PLAC of cows in group CDD, compared with concentrations for control cows. Within 3 days after surgery, significant decreases of the absolute concentration of butyric, i- and n-valerianic acids, and undissociated i- and n-valerianic acids were evident in samples obtained from the rectum of group-CDD cows. Concentrations of VFA in samples obtained from the rectum during surgery correlated with corresponding VFA concentrations in samples obtained from the PLAC.


Concentrations of VFA are increased in the cecum and PLAC of cows with CDD. However, the role of increased concentrations of VFA in the etiopathogenesis of CDD is unknown. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:1540–1545)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research