Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Husbandry

Major Professor

Charles S. Hobbs

Committee Members

Harold J. Smith, George M. Merriman, O. G. Hall


The potential problem of fluorosis in cattle and sheep tends to become increasingly important as certain industries using fluorine bearing materials at high temperature locate in farm areas. Several factors adding to the hazard of fluorosis in livestock areas. (1) the use of mineral supplements with a high fluorine¹ content; (2) water supplies with a high fluorine content, and (3) pastures contaminated by upsplash of fluorine-bearing soil. The rather large number of sources of fluorine, each capable of causing variable degrees of fluorosis in cattle and sheep make it desirable to constantly improve the present methods of diagnosis.

Present diagnostic measures include a study of teeth changes, determinations of fluorine content of bones and feeds and general clinical observation. Gross appearance of the teeth of cattle and sheep, supported by a study of fluorine content of feeds and bones for the period concerned, give an excellent history of an animal’s incisor teeth. However, these diagnostic measures do not constitute a definite quantitative measure of acute or chronic fluorine intoxication in cattle and sheep, especially if the animal has developed its permanent incisors prior to the ingestion of increased amounts of fluorine. The fluorine concentration of urine from cattle and sheep has also been used as an aid in diagnosing fluorosis by several investigators; however, more data are needed to demonstrate whether urinary fluorine concentration can be used as a quantitative measure in cases of acute, or chronic fluorosis.

Investigations reported herein were designed primarily to study several aspects of reliability of urinary fluorine concentrations as a diagnostic measure of fluorosis in cattle and sheep. Specific objectives of the study were:

1. To determine the validity of using the specific gravity as a method of standardizing urinary fluorine concentrations in cattle and sheep;

2. To determine the correlation between urinary fluorine concentrations and dietary fluorine intake in cattle and sheep;

3. To establish, for cattle, the excretion pattern of urinary fluorine concentration at various periods after fluorine ingestion;

4. To study the relationship between the rib fluorine content and the urinary fluorine concentration in cattle;

5. To study the effects of aluminum sulfate and aluminum chloride "fluorine alleviators," upon the fluorine concentration of urine in cattle and sheep.

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