Effects of electrolyte solutions for oral administration on clotting of milk

Jonathan M. Naylor From the Department of Veterinary Internal Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada Sask S7N 0W0.

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 BVSc, PhD

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Summary

The effect of electrolyte solutions commercially formulated for oral administration on clotting of milk was investigated in vitro. Rennet or abomasal fluid was used as the clotting agent. Electrolyte solutions that contained large amounts of bicarbonate or citrate (> 40 mEq/L) had marked adverse effects on milk clotting, probably because bicarbonate increased pH and because citrate chelated calcium. Addition of solutions that did not contain alkalinizing agents resulted in normal or enhanced clotting, and enhancement was associated with the presence of acid phosphate salts. Electrolyte solutions that included acetate as the alkalinizing agent did not interfere with milk clotting as long as pH of the final solution was acidic and minimal amounts of citric acid salts were present (< 10 mEq/L). Acetate-containing electrolyte solutions can be used for oral administration in calves in which alkalinization of blood without interference with milk clotting is desired.

Summary

The effect of electrolyte solutions commercially formulated for oral administration on clotting of milk was investigated in vitro. Rennet or abomasal fluid was used as the clotting agent. Electrolyte solutions that contained large amounts of bicarbonate or citrate (> 40 mEq/L) had marked adverse effects on milk clotting, probably because bicarbonate increased pH and because citrate chelated calcium. Addition of solutions that did not contain alkalinizing agents resulted in normal or enhanced clotting, and enhancement was associated with the presence of acid phosphate salts. Electrolyte solutions that included acetate as the alkalinizing agent did not interfere with milk clotting as long as pH of the final solution was acidic and minimal amounts of citric acid salts were present (< 10 mEq/L). Acetate-containing electrolyte solutions can be used for oral administration in calves in which alkalinization of blood without interference with milk clotting is desired.

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