The efficiency of sodium bicarbonate or l-lactate for correcting systemic metabolic acidosis (SMA) caused by rumen lactic acidosis (RLA) was evaluated using six rumen-cannulated steers in a cross-over experimental design. RLA was induced by administration of sucrose, intraruminally. Twenty hours later when the animals developed an intense SMA, the steers were randomly distributed and treated intravenously either with 5l of 15 mMol/l sodium bicarbonate or L-lactate solution, infused throughout 4h. Blood samples were colleted throughout the infusion at zero, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8h, for blood gas analysis. After 1hour, both sodium bicarbonate and L-lactate solutions increased blood pH and corrected adequately the SMA. Blood bicarbonate, TCO2 and base excess concentrations were also increased at the 2nd hour with L-lactate and at the 3rd hour with bicarbonate. No differences between treatments were observed for blood pH, bicarbonate, TCO2 and base excess concentrations. Treated steers after twenty-four hours showed an effective clinical recovery. L-lactate can adequately replace bicarbonate in the correction of SMA in steers with RLA.
cattle; acidosis; bicarbonate; lactate-L