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The use of radiotelemetric ruminal bolus to detect body temperature changes in lactating dairy cattle

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ilias Kyriazakis


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The objective of this study was to validate the efficacy of a radiotelemetric bolus (RTB) to detect changes in ruminal temperature resulting from (1) systemic illnesses that are associated with febrile responses and (2) subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA). Eight rumen-fistulated, lactating Holstein cows (586±37kg of body weight, 106±18 d in milk) were used in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Each period consisted of 21 d. The factors were 2 diets, a moderate forage:concentrate [MFC; 52:48; % of dry matter (DM)] or a high forage:concentrate (HFC; 65:35, % of DM) total mixed ration, and a challenge with a single intramammary injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 100μg derived from Escherichia coli 0111:B4) or no LPS (sterile saline). Thus, the 4 resulting treatments were (1) MFC with LPS challenge, (2) MFC with saline, (3) HFC with LPS challenge, and (4) HFC with saline. Cows were fed at 0800 and 1400h daily. Cows received the intramammary injections at 0900h of d 21. Ruminal pH and ruminal temperature were also measured on d 21 every minute via an indwelling logging system that resided in the ventral sac of the rumen and via a radiotelemetric bolus that resided in the reticulum. Vaginal temperature was also recorded every minute via temperature loggers. Prior to LPS injection, the duration of rumen pH below 5.6 (indicative of SARA) was higher in cows receiving MFC than cows receiving HFC (148±24 and 62±24min/d, respectively). The temperature measured at the same time via RTB was higher for MFC than HFC cows (167±21 vs. 104 vs. 21min/d above 38.8°C, respectively). The following day, cows challenged with LPS showed signs of mastitis within the injected quarters, depressed DM intake, decreased milk yield, and a peak vaginal temperature of 41.3±0.1°C 5.5h after the LPS injection. The RTB system successfully detected a fever response parallel to that measured by the vaginal loggers but temperature peak detected by RTB was, on average, 0.5°C lower than that detected by the vaginal logger. Although the RTB system was able to detect a temperature response to the diet effect before LPS challenge, it was unable to detect this effect during the LPS challenge, likely because cows receiving the LPS challenge had decreased feed consumption. In conclusion, radiotelemetry has the potential to improve the detection of SARA and fever on farm.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kyriazakis I; Alzahal O; Alzahal H; Steele MA; VanSchaik M; Duffield TF; McBride BW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Dairy Science

Year: 2011

Volume: 94

Issue: 7

Pages: 3568-3574

Print publication date: 01/07/2011

ISSN (print): 0022-0302

ISSN (electronic): 1525-3198

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.


DOI: 10.3168/jds.2010-3944


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