Sulphur levels in saliva as an estimation of sulphur status in cattle: a validation study

V. Dermauw, E. Froidmont, J. Dijkstra, J.L. de Boever, W. Vyverman, A.E. Debeer, G.P.J. Janssens

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1 Citation (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-513
JournalArchives of Animal Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • rumen fluid
  • sheep
  • metabolism
  • sulfate
  • plasma
  • roughage
  • blood
  • feed
  • urea
  • cows


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