Often called the silent thief, subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) often goes undetected in herds. However, cows experiencing SARA do show a few subtle clues, says Jennifer Garrett, nutritionist and technical services manager for Monsanto Dairy Business. These include:


  • Cows eating soil or bedding.
  • Variable dry matter intakes.
  • An increase in displaced abomasums.
  • Inverted butterfat and protein tests.
  • Loose, variable consistency of manure. (Stacks up to less than 1.5 inches in height.)
  • Increased intake of free-choice buffers.
  • Lack of rumination (less cud chewing than normal).
  • Appearance of hardship grooves on hooves.
  • Laminitis.