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Haemato-Biochemical and Ruminal Liquor Profile of Buffaloes with Rumen Impaction.


The rumen impaction in bovines has emerged as a major clinical problem in Punjab in last few years as a result of multiple factors and particularly ingestion of poor-quality feed. It is commonly found during hot and dry weather condition and intake of excess of coarse roughages. Clinically, it is manifested by anorexia, dullness, increased respiration rate and pulse rate, normal body temperature, sluggish or even nil ruminal movements, distended abdomen, progressive emaciation, dehydration, sunken eyes etc. (Nwity and Chaudhary, 1995; Hussain and Uppal, 2012).

A little information is available regarding haematobiochemical and ruminal fluid alterations in rumen impaction in buffaloes. So, present study was undertaken to study haemato-biochemical profile and ruminal fluid alterations in buffaloes having rumen impaction.

Material and Methods

Source of Animals and Samples

The study was conducted on 15 (fifteen) buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) diagnosed clinically for rumen impaction on the basis of hard consistency of rumen on per rectal examination or exploratory laparorumenotomy.

Haematological Analysis

Blood samples (2 ml) were collected aseptically from jugular vein in N[A.sub.2]EDTA vials. Haemoglobin (Hb, g/dL), packed cell volume (PCV,%), total leukocyte count (TLC, per/uL), differential leukocyte count (DLC,%) and ESR were estimated by standard methods (Jain, 1986).

Biochemical Analysis

Blood samples (10 ml) were collected aseptically from jugular vein into heparinized vials (1:1000). Plasma was separated at 3000 rpm for 10 min, within six hours after collection. The plasma was used for estimation of following blood biochemical parameters using Bayer diagnostic kit with the help of an RA50 Autoanalyser: total plasma protein (TP), albumin, globulin, glucose, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, calcium, chloride, total bilirubin and enzyme activities viz. aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Plasma inorganic phosphorus was estimated by ammonium molybdate method (Taussky and Sharr, 1953). Plasma sodium and potassium were estimated by flame photometry (Hawk et al., 1954). Fibrinogen was estimated by heat precipitation method (Jain, 1986).

Ruminal Liquor Analysis

Rumen liquor samples were collected using sixteen(16) gauge, six (6) inch long needle inserted perpendicularly into the left paralumbar fossa or at the time of rumenotomy and subjected to physical and microscopic examination. A part of the sample was preserved with few drops of saturated mercuric chloride solution for estimation of total volatile fatty acid (TVFA), total ammonia-nitrogen (N[H.sub.3]-N), sodium and chloride concentration. Ruminal liquor parameters (Table 2) were estimated using standard procedures.

Results and Discussion

All buffaloes (n=15) presented with rumen impaction were female and between 3-12 years of age. Two cases had partial anorexia and thirteen animals were completely anorectic. Gradual change in diet from green bajra to mature bajra and straw was observed in nine cases. Only one case had history of ingestion of excessive amount of potatoes. Water intake was reduced in all cases. Two cases had history of fever (>103[degrees]F). Milk yield was reduced in all cases. Only two animals had cud dropping and one animal had history of colic. Defecation was completely absent in nine animals whereas six cases were passing constipated feces. History of persistent tympany was observed in six animals and two had recurrent tympany. Two animals were in early pregnancy (0-3) and six animals in mid pregnancy. Seven animals had parturated 15 days to 5 months back. All animals were in second to fifth lactation. Majority of rumen impaction cases were associated with ingestion of coarse feed materials which was in agreement with the finding of earlier workers (Athar et al., 2010; Bajaj, 2000; Toor and Saini, 2008; Radostits et al., 2010; Hussain and Uppal, 2012).

On clinical examination of buffaloes, two were alert and thirteen were depressed. Rumination was suspended in all animals. Muzzle was dry in five cases. On external examination of animals from rear view, two had normal abdominal contour, nine had unilaterally distended (left side) abdomen and four had bilaterally distended abdomen. Rumen motility was decreased to nil in all animals. Mucus membrane was congested in fourteen cases and only one case had icteric mucus membrane. All animals had 4-10 percent dehydration. On auscultation of heart and lung, crackles and wheezes were heard in three cases, whereas in five cases tympanic sounds were heard on percussion with simultaneous auscultation of left paralumbar fossa. None of the animals yielded peritoneal fluid on abdominocentesis. The mean rectal temperature (101.02 [+ or -] 0.29[degrees]F), mean heart rate (64.00 [+ or -] 4.67 per minute) and mean respiration rate (22.2 [+ or -] 3.08 per minute) did not differ significantly from their respective reference values. On per rectal examination, moderately impacted rumen was found in thirteen cases while in two cases, it was severely impacted. Intestinal loops were normal in consistency in thirteen cases whereas two cases had collapsed intestinal loops. In nine cases, rectal passage was devoid of feces, while in six cases constipated feces were present. Similar clinical findings were reported by many workers (Athar et al., 2010; Rao, 1987; Nwity and Chaudhary, 1995; Hussain and Uppal, 2012).

The haematological parameters with reference values are depicted in Table 1. Hb, PCV were within normal reference range and TLC with neutrophilia. Neutrophilia may result from chronic irritation of forestomach wall by impacted feed materials, leaving the wall exposed to secondary infection, resulting in inflammation. Increased ESR may be an indicator of the inflammatory reaction. In contrast to present study, Nwity and Choudhary (1995) reported decreased Hb and PCV in rumen impaction of cattle.

The comparison of various biochemical parameters with reference values are presented in Table 1. The possible cause of higher AST level could be due to absorption of portal bacteria and toxins from damaged rumen mucosa (Garry, 2002). The high AKP activity may have been associated with cholestasis. The rise in plasma bilirubin concentration in present study might be due to absorption of toxic products from rumen or alimentary tract leading to cellular disturbance of liver parenchyma. It may also be due to starvation and constipation (Kaneko et al., 2008). The increase in glucose level may be due to stress caused by rumen impaction which leads to release of adrenocorticosteroid release, which has glycogenolytic effect causing hyperglycemia (Hussain and Uppal, 2012). During ruminal dysfunction, tissue extract and putrified ingesta liberates toxic amines such as histamine in rumen which on absorption in system increases blood urea level. During ruminal disorders there is failure of urea recycling process and it is not utilized properly by rumen microbes and might be responsible for increase in BUN level. Hyper-proteinemia recorded may be due to dehydration and release of some positive acute phase proteins in response to acute inflammation or due to stress (Kaneko et al., 2008). Hyperglobulinaemia and rise in plasma fibrinogen might be due to inflammation of rumen epithelium caused by chronic irritation by coarse feed material or inflammatory condition of different tissues. A total plasma protein: fibrinogen ratio (TP:F) less than 10:1 indicated marked increase in fibrinogen. The probable reason for hypocalcaemia in present study may be ingestion of mature bajra in most cases which has high soluble oxalate concentration, forms insoluble precipitates of calcium oxalate and make calcium unavailable for metabolism (Bajaj, 2000). Hypocalcemia, hypophostaemia, hyponatremia, hypokalemia and hypochloremia might be due to GIT stasis and less assimilation of feed materials as a result of long standing anorexia (Radostits et al., 2010). Similar serum biochemical parameters levels were also reported by Khinda et al. (2004) and Hussain and Uppal (2012) in buffaloes with rumen impaction.

Evaluation of rumen fluid revealed characteristic alterations in physical, microbiological and biochemical parameters (Table 2). The colour of rumen fluid of diseased group of buffaloes varied from dark green to greenish black, brown. The rumen liquor was watery with pungent odour. The motility of rumen protozoa was poor (+) to nil. There was rapid sedimentation of particulate matter in rumen liquor of buffaloes with rumen impaction. MBRT was significantly higher than reference range. Similar results were reported by Boodur et al. (2010) in rumen impaction. Chronic anorexia causes rumen microbial inactivity (Garry 1990), which leads to poor to nil motility of protozoa microbial activity. The mean ruminal N[H.sub.3]-N was significantly higher than reference value. This could be due to failure of urea recycling.

In the present study majority of cases of rumen impaction had history of feeding of mature bajra and wheat straw. The hematology depicted neutrophilia and increased ESR, AST, ALP, bilirubin, glucose, blood urea nitrogen, total protein, globulin, fibrinogen, plasma calcium, sodium, potassium and chloride concentrations revealed significant changes. The ruminal liquor of diseased buffaloes revealed characteristic physical, chemical and microbial changes.


Authors are highly thankful to Dr. Rajvir Singh, Retired Professor, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Dr. S.P.S. Sangha, Director Students Welfare, GADVASU for their kind cooperation and providing necessary facility during the course of this work.


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Sujata Turkar (1), S.K. Uppal and A.K. Sharma

Department of Veterinary Medicine

College of Veterinary Sciences

Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU)

Ludhiana - 141004 (Punjab)

(1.) Corresponding author. E-mail:
Table 1: Haemato-biochemical changes (mean [+ or -] SE) of buffaloes
with rumen impaction (n=15)

Parameters                                   Rumen

Hb (gm%)                                     8.44[+ or -]0.73
PCV (%)
TLC (x[10.sup.3]m[L.sup.-1])                 11460[+ or -]2900
Neutrophils (x[10.sup.3][micro][L.sup.-1])    7300[+ or -]2800 (*)
Lymphocytes (x[10.sup.3][micro][L.sup.-1])    3400[+ or -]1500
Eosinophils (x[10.sup.3][micro][L.sup.-1])     800[+ or -]300
Monocytes (x[10.sup.3][micro][L.sup.-1])       200[+ or -]100
ESR (mm in one hour)                            96.33[+ or -]7.59
AST (IU/L)                                     230.2[+ or -]52.70 (*)
ALP (IU/L)                                     213.86[+ or -]20.98 (*)
Bilirubin (mg/dl)                                1.17[+ or -]0.35 (*)
Glucose (mg/dl)                                 99.26[+ or -]9.78 (*)
BUN (mg%)                                       61.38[+ or -]10.72 (*)
Creatinine (mg%)                                 2.02[+ or -]0.41
Total Protein (gm%)                              8.69[+ or -]0.21 (*)
Albumin (gm%)                                    3.10[+ or -]0.18
Globulin (gm%)                                   5.74[+ or -]0.31 (*)
Fibrinogen (mg/dl)                            1013.33[+ or -]129.7 (*)
PP: F                                           10.02:1 (**)
Ca (mg%)                                         7.11[+ or -]0.31 (**)
P (mg %)                                         5.20[+ or -]0.40 (**)
Na (mmol-[l.sup.-1])                           111.06[+ or -]4.03 (**)
K (mmol-[l.sup.-1])                              2.59[+ or -]0.19 (**)
Cl (mmol-[l.sup.-1])                            86.76[+ or -]1.54 (**)

Parameters                                   Reference

Hb (gm%)                                        8-15
PCV (%)                                        24-46
TLC (x[10.sup.3]m[L.sup.-1])                 4000-12000
Neutrophils (x[10.sup.3][micro][L.sup.-1])    600-4000
Lymphocytes (x[10.sup.3][micro][L.sup.-1])   2500-7500
Eosinophils (x[10.sup.3][micro][L.sup.-1])      0-2400
Monocytes (x[10.sup.3][micro][L.sup.-1])        0-2400
ESR (mm in one hour)                           17-69 (B)
AST (IU/L)                                     78-132
ALP (IU/L)                                     27-107
Bilirubin (mg/dl)                               0.01-0.5
Glucose (mg/dl)                                45-75
BUN (mg%)                                       6-27
Creatinine (mg%)                                1-2
Total Protein (gm%)                             5.7-8.1
Albumin (gm%)                                   2.1-3.6
Globulin (gm%)                                  2.9-4.9
Fibrinogen (mg/dl)                              0.20-0.70 (A)
PP: F                                         >15 (A)
Ca (mg%)                                        9.7-12.4
P (mg %)                                        5.6-6.5
Na (mmol-[l.sup.-1])                          132-152
K (mmol-[l.sup.-1])                             3.9-5.8
Cl (mmol-[l.sup.-1])                           97-111

(**) Mean value less than reference range

(*) Mean value higher than reference range

Reference ranges: A- from Jain (1986), B-from Vegad (2000) and others
from Radostits et al. (2010)

Table 2: Rumen fluid profile (mean [+ or -] SE) of buffaloes suffering
from rumen impaction (n=15)

Parameters             Rumen                   Reference
                       impaction               values

pH                       7.06[+ or -]0.28        7
MBRT (min)              44.00[+ or -]1.30 (*)    3-6
TVFA (mEq/L)            63.80[+ or -]1.7        60-120
N[H.sub.3]-N (mg%)      31.60[+ or -]1.54 (*)    6-25
Na (mmol-[L.sup.-1])   105.86[+ or -]5.15        -
Cl (mmol-[L.sup.-1])    19.61[+ or -]1.02      <30

(*) Mean value higher than reference range Reference ranges: taken from
Garry (2002).
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Research Article
Author:Turkar, Sujata; Uppal, S.K.; Sharma, A.K.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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