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  • Author or Editor: David E. Anderson x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of ambient temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, relative barometric pressure, and temperature-humidity index (THI) on nasal submucosal and rectal temperatures in cattle during extreme summer conditions.

Animals—20 black crossbred beef heifers (mean body weight, 217.8 kg).

Procedures—Nasal submucosal and rectal temperatures were monitored every 2 hours for 24 hours on 3 nonconsecutive days when ambient temperature was forecasted to exceed 32.2°C. Ambient temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and relative barometric pressure were continuously monitored at a remote weather station located at the research facility. The THI was calculated and used in the livestock weather safety index (LWSI). Relationships between nasal submucosal or rectal temperature and weather variables were evaluated.

Results—Nasal submucosal and rectal temperatures were related to all weather variables monitored. A positive relationship was determined for ambient temperature and THI with both nasal submucosal and rectal temperatures. A negative relationship was evident for nasal submucosal and rectal temperature with relative humidity, wind speed, and relative barometric pressure. Nasal submucosal and rectal temperatures increased with increasing severity of LWSI category.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Effects of environmental conditions on thermoregulation in calves exposed to extreme heat were detected. The positive relationship between nasal submucosal temperature and ambient temperature and THI raised concerns about the efficacy of intranasal administration of temperature-sensitive modified-live virus vaccines during periods of extreme heat. Environmental conditions must be considered when rectal temperature is used as a diagnostic tool for identifying morbid cattle.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effect of transportation during periods of high ambient temperature on physiologic and behavioral indices of beef heifers.

Animals—20 heifers (mean body weight, 217.8 kg).

Procedures—Ten heifers were transported 518 km when the maximum ambient temperature was ≥ 32.2°C while the other 10 heifers served as untransported controls. Blood samples were collected from transported heifers at predetermined intervals during the transportation period. For all heifers, body weights, nasal and rectal temperatures, and behavioral indices were measured at predetermined intervals for 3 days after transportation. A week later, the entire process was repeated such that each group was transported twice and served as the control twice.

Results—Transported heifers spent more time near the hay feeder on the day of transportation, had lower nasal and rectal temperatures for 24 hours after transportation, and spent more time lying down for 2 days after transportation, compared with those indices for control heifers. Eight hours after transportation, the weight of transported heifers decreased 6%, whereas that of control heifers increased 0.6%. At 48 hours after initiation of transportation, weight, rectal temperature, and time spent at various pen locations did not differ between transported and control heifers. Cortisol concentrations were higher 4 hours after initiation of transportation, compared with those determined just prior to transportation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated transportation during periods of high ambient temperatures caused transient changes in physiologic and behavioral indices of beef heifers.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research