Effective assessment of sulphur (S) status in cattle is important for optimal health, yet remains difficult. Rumen fluid S concentrations are preferred, but difficult to sample under practical conditions. This study aimed to evaluate salivary S concentration as estimator of S status in cattle. Saliva and rumen fluid samples were collected from dairy cows (n = 16) as well as samples of different feedstuffs offered to the animals. The N and S concentrations were determined using the Dumas technique. The average dietary N and S content were calculated as well as N:S ratio of saliva, rumen fluid and diet. Salivary S concentrations could not predict rumen fluid or dietary S concentrations (p > 0.05). The log transformed salivary N:S ratio (x) could predict the rumen fluid N:S ratio (y) with a linear equation of y = 9.83 (±4.59) x + 0.39 (±4.56) (r = 0.497, p = 0.05), but left too much residual variation to serve as reliable predictor. Further research should investigate this relationship in the search for an S status estimator.
- rumen fluid
Dermauw, V., Froidmont, E., Dijkstra, J., de Boever, J. L., Vyverman, W., Debeer, A. E., & Janssens, G. P. J. (2012). Sulphur levels in saliva as an estimation of sulphur status in cattle: a validation study. Archives of Animal Nutrition, 66(6), 507-513. https://doi.org/10.1080/1745039x.2012.735081