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  • Author or Editor: Meredyth L. Jones x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine correlations between dietary cation anion difference (DCAD) and urine pH, urine specific gravity, and blood pH in goats.

Animals—24 crossbred goat wethers. Procedures—Goats were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 DCAD groups (−150, −75, 0, or +75 mEq/kg of feed) and fed pelleted feed and ground hay for 7 days. The diet was then supplemented with ammonium chloride to achieve the assigned DCAD of each group for 7 days. Urine was obtained for pH and specific gravity measurements at hours −3 to −1, 1 to 3, 5 to 7, 9 to 11, and 13 to 15 relative to the morning feeding. Blood pH was determined on alternate days of the study period.

Results—Goats in the −150 and −75 mEq/kg groups had a urine pH of 6.0 to 6.5 two days after initiation of administration of ammonium chloride, and urine pH decreased to < 6.0 by day 7. Goats in the 0 mEq/kg group had a urine pH from 6.0 to 6.5 on day 5, whereas urine pH in goats in the +75 mEq/kg group remained > 6.5 throughout the trial. Urine specific gravity differed only between the −150 mEq/kg and the −75 mEq/kg groups. Blood pH in the −150 mEq/kg group was significantly lower than that in the other groups. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Goats in the 0 mEq/kg DCAD group had a urine pH of 6.0 to 6.5 five days after intitiation of feeding the diet, and that pH was maintained through day 7, without significant reduction in blood pH. This may serve as a target for diet formulation for the prevention of urolithiasis.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research