Bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) is the most important health issue in beef feeder calves. Our study was a randomized, blinded field trial to evaluate potential differences in health, production and behavior in feeder calves administered two different preventive health programs. Calves in two replicates (n=308 and n=305) were allocated to pens and then pens were randomly assigned a preventive health program. One program (Prog1) consisted of 1 injectable clostridial vaccine, 1 intranasal modified live respiratory vaccine, 1 topical and 1 oral parasiticide. The other program (Prog2) consisted of 1 injectable clostridial vaccine, 1 modified live respiratory vaccine and 1 injectable parasiticide. A greater percentage of calves in Prog1 (59.7%) experienced BRDC morbidity compared to the Prog2 program (47.8%). There were no differences between programs in mortality, case fatality, 1st treatment success or chronicity risks. The average daily gain over the entire study period for the Prog2 calves (1.23 kg) was greater than the Prog1 calves (1.16 kg). Calves administered Prog1 on average took more steps each day during the first 28 days of the study. Additionally, Prog1 calves spent more time lying down on certain days during the last 14 days of the study. During initial program administration, fewer Prog1 calves (39.8%) vocalized compared to Prog2 calves (47.8%). In this study, calves administered a program with fewer injections indicated less aversion to program administration than those administered more injections, but experienced greater morbidity and poorer performance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Dehorning is common in the cattle industry, and there is a need for research evaluating pain mitigation techniques. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of oral meloxicam, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, on cattle behavior post-dehorning by monitoring the percent of time spent standing, walking, and lying in specific locations within the pen using accelerometers and a remote triangulation device. Twelve calves approximately ten weeks of age were randomized into 2 treatment groups (meloxicam or control) in a complete block design by body weight. Six calves were orally administered 0.5 mg/kg meloxicam at the time of dehorning and six calves served as negative controls. All calves were dehorned using thermocautery and behavior of each calf was continuously monitored for 7 days after dehorning using accelerometers and a remote triangulation device. Accelerometers monitored lying behavior and the remote triangulation device was used to monitor each calf’s movement within the pen.
Analysis of behavioral data revealed significant interactions between treatment (meloxicam vs. control) and the number of days post dehorning. Calves that received meloxicam spent more time at the grain bunk on trial days 2 and 6 post-dehorning; spent more time lying down on days 1, 2, 3, and 4; and less time at the hay feeder on days 0 and 1 compared to the control group. Meloxicam calves tended to walk more at the beginning and end of the trial compared to the control group. By day 5, the meloxicam and control group exhibited similar behaviors.
The noted behavioral changes provide evidence of differences associated with meloxicam administration. More studies need to be performed to evaluate the relationship of behavior monitoring and post-operative pain. To our knowledge this is the first published report demonstrating behavioral changes following dehorning using a remote triangulation device in conjunction with accelerometers.
BMC Veterinary Research 04/2012; 8(1):48. DOI:10.1186/1746-6148-8-48 · 1.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to determine the effect of pneumonia during conditions of high (maximum ≥ 32°C) ambient temperatures on physiological and behavioral responses of calves. Eighteen black beef heifers averaging 240 kg were blocked by weight and randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: 1) pneumonia induced by bronchoselective endoscopic inoculation with Mannheimia haemolytica (MH; n=10) and 2) non-inoculated controls (CN; n=8). Nasal passage and rectal temperatures were measured every 2 h for 24 h after challenge and then twice daily for 9 d. Accelerometers, pedometers, and positioning devices monitored cattle behavior within the pen for 9 d after challenge. Blood samples were collected on trial d 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 7, and 9, and analyzed to determine concentration of substance P, cortisol, haptoglobin, and metalloproteinase. All calves in the MH group were euthanized and necropsied on trial d 9. All MH calves became clinically ill post-challenge. A treatment x time interaction (P < 0.05) was evident for nasal and rectal temperatures, behavior, weight, and blood analysis. Rectal temperatures in MH were greater (P < 0.01) than CN during the period from 6 to 24 h after challenge. Conversely, nasal passage temperatures were less in MH calves compared to CN at 12 to 22 h after challenge. Calves in MH spent less time at the grain bunk, less time at the hay feeder, and more time lying down during the early pneumonia period compared to CN calves. Also, MH calves had significantly higher levels of blood biomarkers of pain (substance P) on d 0.5 (P < 0.01); stress (cortisol) on d 0.5 and 1 (P < 0.01); haptoglobin on d 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 7 (P < 0.01); and metalloproteinase on d 1, 2, and 3 (P < 0.01) compared with CN calves. At necropsy, all MH calves had right cranioventral bronchopneumonia (median lung lesions = 6.8%). Mannheimia haemolytica pneumonia caused significantly more changes in behavior and increased biomarkers during high (maximum ≥ 32°C) ambient temperatures as compared to control calves. The results of this study may guide research in the development of objective assessment tools for management of cattle affected with BRD during extreme summer conditions.
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