Comparison of Two Oral Electrolyte Solutions and Route of Administration on the Abomasal Emptying Rate of Holstein-Friesian Calves

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Dehydrated calves with diarrhea are routinely given an oral electrolyte solution (OES) by suckling or esophageal intubation. An important issue related to rehydration therapy is the rate of OES delivery to the small intestine. It is widely assumed that the glucose content of the OES does not impact the speed of resuscitation and that fluid administered by esophageal intubation provides a similar resuscitative response to that obtained by suckling. The aims of this study were to compare the abomasal emptying rate in calves suckling an OES containing a high or low glucose concentration and in calves administered a high-glucose OES by suckling or esophageal intubation. Seven male Holstein-Friesian calves were given the following treatments in random order: 2 L of a commercially available high-glucose OES ([glucose] = 405 mM) by suckling or esophageal intubation or 2 L of a commercially available low-glucose OES ([glucose] = 56 mM) by suckling. Abomasal emptying rate was determined by acetaminophen absorption, ultrasonography, and glucose absorption. High-glucose OES rapidly increased plasma glucose concentration after suckling but produced a slower rate of abomasal emptying than did lowglucose OES. Esophageal intubation of high-glucose OES produced the same initial change in abomasal volume as did suckling, but delayed the rate of OES delivery to the small intestine. Our results suggest that suckling a low-glucose OES provides the fastest rate of abomasal emptying and plasma volume expansion, whereas a high-glucose OES provides the most appropriate oral solution for treating hypoglycemic calves.

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