Urinary Calculi and Ammonium Chloride

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by YuccaFlatsRanch, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just posted this on the sheep board and my vet says I should post on the cattle board too as it definitely affects steers and bulls. Losing a ram sheep is bad enough - a 1000 pound steer you are fattening would be disaster.....

    I provide ammonium chloride to all of my rams to help prevent urinary calculi (stones, crystals, etc). I NORMALLY have it mixed in with my custom grain mix as it apparently has a rather pungent / salty taste. Usually, at least in the colder months, I feed a couple of handfuls of grain to each ram which provides the recommended amount of the ammonium chloride to keep their urinary tracts healthy. As the weather has turned much warmer I have all but cut out their grain ration and it almost cost me my best young ram.

    Went down to feed yesterday A.M. and my ram was over in the corner of his pen (this is not unusual), but he didn't get up and run over to be fed (this is definitely unusual). I went in and roused him and he assumed the stance to pee and nothing more than a couple of forced drops which were every YELLOW. His back was arched, his flanks drawn in and he was kicking at his belly. Called my vet and he said what I already feared - Urinary Calculi. Recommended ammonium chloride by drench (2 tsp in enough water to dissolve it, and 4 cc of Pen G pennicillian Sub q). Also recommended reinstate the grain mix with another tsp mixed in. This A.M. he is back to peeing and eating and his urine is clear. Tonight totally back to his old self.

    MORAL - think thoroughly through any changes you make in your routine. Innocent changes may haunt you.

    BTW - ammonium chloride acidifies the urine and helps disolve crystals / stones much as cranberry juice does for humans, Having tasted the ammonium chloride, I will just keep drinking cranberry juice
     
  2. debd0712

    debd0712 Well-Known Member

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    Missouri
    Thanks for the info. We give A.C to our male goats for the same reason, but I had no idea cattle should also have it. We just brought home a steer calf today and are getting another soon. It will be added to feed tomorrow. And yes, the stuff is nasty - you can not keep it in a metal can as it will eat right through it. Seems to be fine stored in an airtight (other wise it will clump) plastic container though. Was your tasting accidental or on purpose? Can't imagine putting something that nasty (has a strong ammonia odor) in my mouth intentionally.

    Debbie
     

  3. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Trust me - accidental when I was drenching my ram. YUCK