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Acidosis is a condition caused by the overfeeding of grain. The bacteria in the rumen make acid from the carbohydrates in the grain. If too much acid is formed, it is absorbed into the blood stream and causes the whole body to become acidic. This can be a life-threatening situation.

Severe acidosis may resemble pneumonia except that signs of the disease come on very rapidly. The animal will have appeared fine at the last feeding and now is very depressed. Treat as for pneumonia but in addition give 1 pint of water in a pop bottle to which you have added 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). Give slowly and give the lamb plenty of time to swallow. You may have to repeat this several times over the rest of the day. The soda water should make him feel better and act perkier. If he begins to act depressed again, give him more soda water. This is a life threatening problem and it is a good idea to call your veterinarian.

For less severe acidosis, see 2 and 3 under diarrhea.

© James Suffolks
For more information please call us at (208)377-5430 or e-mail me. 


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