Use of ammonium chloride to prevent urolithiasis in sheep
ABSTRACT Urolithiasis has a high incidence among confined sheep. It is multifactorial and may cause economic damage. Our aim was to determine the capacity of urinary acidification using ammonium chloride in sheep. Twenty-five 3-month-old male sheep were confined and randomly divided into three groups; the G200 and G500 groups received 200mg/kg/GW and 500mg/kg/GW of ammonium chloride daily for 56 consecutive days, respectively, whereas the CG group did not receive ammonium chloride. Sampling times and clinical evaluation were performed weekly, starting from the 14th day of confinement (M1 or immediately before administering ammonium chloride) until the 17th day (M9) of the feedlot. Hemogasometry, biochemical examination of serum urea and creatinine concentration and ultrasound evaluation of the urinary tract were performed. The urinalysis indicated a higher incidence of ammonium magnesium phosphate crystals at the beginning of the study, showing a migration to urate crystal formation, mainly in the G500 group because of urinary acidification. No hemogasometric, serum biochemistry, ruminal fluid, or ultrasonographic changes were observed. Urinary acidification was achieved and maintained after M7 during the administration of ammonium chloride in the G500 group, but not in the other study groups.