Hypohosphataemia is a frequent finding in early lactating and anorectic dairy cows. Sodium phosphate is commonly used for oral phosphorus (P) supplementation, although other phosphate salts may present useful treatment alternatives. Objectives of this study were to compare the efficacy of monopotassium phosphate (KH2PO4) and monocalcium phosphate (Ca(H2PO4)2) to monosodium phosphate (NaH2PO4) in P-depleted cows. Furthermore, the effect of concentrated NaH2PO4 on the reticular groove reflex was studied. Six healthy but P-depleted dairy cows underwent four treatments in randomised order. Treatments consisted of intraruminal administration of NaH2PO4, KH2PO4 and Ca(H2PO4)2 providing the equivalent of 60 g P. A fourth treatment consisting of concentrated NaH2PO4 combined with acetaminophen as a marker substance was administered orally to determine whether the reticular groove reflex could be induced. Intraruminal administration of NaH2PO4 and KH2PO4 resulted in similar increases in plasma Pi concentrations ([Pi]) while intraruminal Ca(H2PO4)2 resulted in lower increases in plasma [Pi]. Oral and intraruminal administration of NaH2PO4 resulted in similar times to peak plasma [Pi] and acetaminophen concentration, indicating that concentrated NaH2PO4 administered orally did not trigger the reticular groove reflex. These results suggest that oral administration of KH2PO4 is equally effective as NaH2PO4. Oral administration of Ca(H2PO4)2 in contrast has a less pronounced effect on the plasma [Pi].
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