State of Acid-base Balance in Dehydrated Camels (Camelus dromedarius)
There is a lack of information pertaining to the normal levels of acid-base parameters and the effects of dehydration on the acid-base balance in camels. The effect of water deprivation on acid-base balance was studied using five (2-years old) male dromedary camels. The camels were deprived of water for 7 days. Respiratory rate and blood gases were determined before the commencement and at the end of water deprivation period and during the first 48 h post rehydration. Blood pH did not differ significantly (p = 0.14) due to water deprivation in camels. However, respiratory rate was significantly (p = 0.001) elevated, while blood partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), total CO2 (tCO2) and bicarbonate (HCO3-) were significantly (p<0.1) reduced in water deprived camels. This study demonstrates that although blood pH remains within normal range in water deprived camels, the primary challenge to water deprived camels is a mild respiratory alkalosis induced by reduced blood pCO2 which may be the result of an accelerated respiratory rate.
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