Objective—To describe myoelectric patterns in the intestines of cows after electrode implantation.
Animals—7 lactating Simmental-Red Holstein cows.
Procedure—Cows were implanted with 7 pairs of bipolar silver electrodes (1 each in the ileum, cecum, and proximal loop of the ascending colon (PLAC) and 4 in the spiral colon). Myoelectric activity was monitored during 10 periods within the first 3 weeks after surgery. Recordings from the first 2 weeks were compared with recordings from the third week, which was considered a steady-state condition.
Results—Significant changes over time were detected for 18 of 57 variables, including 3 variables describing myoelectric activity of the ileum, 6 variables of the cecum, 6 variables of the PLAC, and 3 variables of the spiral colon. Compared with values for the steadystate condition, 16 variables differed significantly for the 14-day period after surgery (7 variables until day 11, 2 variables until day 8, 4 variables until day 5, 1 variable until day 3, and 2 variables until day 2 after electrode implantation). None of the variables had significant changes that lasted only 1 day after surgery.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Significant changes were observed for several variables of myoelectric activity in all intestinal segments until as late as 11 days after electrode implantation, whereas a steady-state condition was reached 14 days after surgery. Effects of drugs, manipulations, or nutrition regimens on myoelectric activity of the bovine digestive tract should be evaluated no sooner than 2 weeks after electrode implantation. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:797–805)