Dehydration in stressed ruminants may be the result of a cortisol-induced diuresis

A. J. Parker, G. P. Hamlin, C. J. Coleman, L. A. Fitzpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effect on water and electrolyte balance of stress, simulated by intravenous infusion of cortisol, was studied using 24 18-mo-old Merino wethers (37.0 ± 0.94 kg mean body weight [BW]) over 72 h. The sheep were allocated to one of four groups: 1) no water/no cortisol (n = 6); 2) water/no cortisol (n = 4); 3) no water/cortisol (n = 6); and 4) water/cortisol (n = 4). Animals allocated to the two cortisol groups were given 0.1 mg·kg BW -1·h-1 of hydrocortisone suspended in isotonic saline to simulate stress for the duration of the experiment. Total body water, plasma cortisol, osmolality and electrolytes, and urine electrolytes were determined at 24-h intervals for 72 h. In the presence of cortisol, total body water was maintained in the face of a water deprivation insult for 72 h. Water deprivation alone did not induce elevated plasma concentrations of cortisol, in spite of a 13% loss of total body water between 48 and 72 h. Infusion of cortisol was found to increase urine output (P = 0.003) and decrease total urinary sodium output (P = 0.032), but had no effect on plasma electrolyte levels or water intake. Water deprivation was found to increase plasma sodium concentrations (P = 0.037). These results indicate that sheep given cortisol to simulate stress suffer from a loss of body water in excess of that associated with a loss of electrolytes, and support the hypothesis that elevated physiological concentrations of cortisol induce a diuresis in ruminants that contributes to dehydration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-519
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume81
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

diuresis
dehydration (animal physiology)
Diuresis
Ruminants
Dehydration
cortisol
Hydrocortisone
ruminants
Body Water
electrolytes
Water Deprivation
water deprivation
Electrolytes
body water
Water
water
Sheep
urine
Sodium
Body Weight

Cite this

Parker, A. J. ; Hamlin, G. P. ; Coleman, C. J. ; Fitzpatrick, L. A. / Dehydration in stressed ruminants may be the result of a cortisol-induced diuresis. In: Journal of Animal Science. 2003 ; Vol. 81, No. 2. pp. 512-519.
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Dehydration in stressed ruminants may be the result of a cortisol-induced diuresis. / Parker, A. J.; Hamlin, G. P.; Coleman, C. J.; Fitzpatrick, L. A.

In: Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 81, No. 2, 01.02.2003, p. 512-519.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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