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  • Author or Editor: William P. Weiss x
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Objective—To examine behavioral and physiologic effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced mastitis in lactating dairy cows.

Animals—20 Holstein cows.

Procedures—Cows were assigned to 5 blocks (4 cows/block) on the basis of parity and number of days in lactation. Intramammary infusion and IV treatments were assigned in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Cows within each block were assigned to receive intramammary infusion with 25 μg of LPS or sterile PBS solution 3 hours after milking, and treatment with flunixin meglumine or sterile PBS solution was administered IV 4 hours after intramammary infusion. Video monitoring was continuously performed during the study.

Results—LPS-infused cows spent less time during the first 12 hours after infusion lying, eating, and chewing cud, compared with results for PBS solution-infused cows. Behavioral responses were correlated with physiologic responses for the first 12 hours after intramammary infusion. Flunixin meglumine administration after intramammary infusion mitigated some behavioral and clinical systemic responses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intramammary infusion of LPS caused changes in both behavioral and physiologic variables in lactating dairy cows. Time spent lying, eating, and chewing cud were negatively correlated with physiologic responses in cows. Evaluation of behavior patterns may provide an ancillary measure, along with evaluation of physiologic variables, for monitoring well-being, clinical responses, and recovery from acute clinical mastitis.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research