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  • Author or Editor: Brad D. Robért x
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Abstract

Objective—To describe daily, hourly, and animal-to-animal effects on lying behavior in steers.

Animals—25 crossbred beef steers.

Procedures—Wireless accelerometers were used to record behavioral data for cattle housed in a drylot cattle research facility during two 20-day periods (winter 2007 [n = 10 steers] and spring 2008 [15]). Behavioral data were categorized into lying, standing, and walking behaviors for each time point recorded. Logistic regression models were used to determine potential associations between the percentage of time spent lying and several factors, including time (hour) of day, day of trial, and steer.

Results—Lying behavior was significantly associated with hour of day, and a distinct circadian rhythm was identified. Steers spent > 55% of the time between 8:00 pm and 4:00 am lying and were most active (<30% lying behavior) during feeding periods (6:00 am to 7:00 am and 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm). Model-adjusted mean percentage of time spent lying was significantly associated with study day and was between 45% and 55% on most (27/40 [67.5%]) days. Lying behavior varied significantly among steers, and mean ± SD percentage of time spent lying ranged from 28.9 ± 6.1 % to 66.1 ± 6.6%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cattle had distinct circadian rhythm patterns for lying behavior, and percentage of time spent lying varied by day and among steers. Researchers need to account for factors that affect lying patterns of cattle (ie, time of day, day of trial, and individual animal) when performing research with behavioral outcomes.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine the proportion of yearling beef bulls classified as satisfactory potential breeders when reevaluated after failing an initial breeding soundness evaluation (BSE) and identify any factors at initial BSE that predicted satisfactory performance at reevaluation.

DESIGN Retrospective observational study.

ANIMALS 2,064 beef bulls between 11 and 14 months of age at first BSE, evaluated from 2006 to 2014.

PROCEDURES For each bull, data on age (categorized by month), breed, and BSE findings were extracted from the medical records. Bulls were classified as satisfactory potential breeders if they met Society for Theriogenology standards at the initial BSE or up to 2 subsequent reevaluations. Generalized linear mixed models were generated to assess potential associations between certain variables at initial BSE and passing that evaluation or passing subsequent BSEs after initial failure.

RESULTS 1,921 of 2,064 (93.1%) yearling bulls passed 1 of up to 3 BSEs. The proportion of yearling bulls that were not classified as satisfactory during initial BSE but were later classified as satisfactory was 143 of 287 (49.8%). A significant interaction was identified between bull age and breed in the probability of passing the initial evaluation. No variable, including breed, age, scrotal circumference per day of age, and spermatozoa morphology at initial BSE, significantly predicted passing subsequent reevaluations after failing an initial BSE.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Age and breed information should be considered when deciding the age at which initial BSE should be scheduled for a yearling bull cohort.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of ambient temperature on viral replication and serum antibody titers following administration of an intranasal modified-live infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR)-parainfluenza-3 (PI3) virus vaccine to beef calves housed in high– (> 32°C) and moderate– (21°C) ambient temperature environments.

Animals—28 calves (mean weight, 206.8 kg).

Procedures—Calves were randomly allocated to 4 treatment groups (housed outdoors during high ambient temperature with [HAT; n = 10] or without [HAC; 4] vaccination or housed indoors in a moderate ambient temperature with [MAT; 10] or without [MAC; 4] vaccination). Rectal and nasal mucosal temperatures were recorded every 2 hours from 8 AM to 8 PM on days 0 (vaccination) and 1. Nasal swab specimens were obtained on days 0 through 7 for virus isolation. Serum samples were collected on days 0, 7, 14, and 28 for determination of antibody titers.

Results—Mean rectal temperature did not differ among the treatment groups. Mean nasal temperature for the HAT group was significantly higher than that for the MAT group at 6, 24, 30, 32, and 38 hours after vaccination. Viable IBR virus was isolated from all vaccinated calves on days 1 through 6. Two weeks after vaccination, vaccinated calves had anti-IBR antibody titers that were significantly greater than those for unvaccinated calves. Mean anti-IBR antibody titers did not differ significantly between the HAT and MAT groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that, following vaccination with an intranasal modified-live IBR-PI3 virus vaccine, IBR viral replication and serum antibody titers did not differ significantly between calves housed in high– and moderate–ambient temperature environments.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

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.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine whether animal-to-animal and community contact patterns were correlated with and predictive for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in beef steers during the first 28 days after feedlot entry.

ANIMALS 70 weaned beef steers (mean weight, 248.9 kg).

PROCEDURES Calves were instrumented with a real-time location system transmitter tag and commingled in a single pen. The location of each calf was continuously monitored. Contact between calves was defined as ≤ 0.5 m between pen coordinates, and the duration that 2 calves were within 0.5 m of each other was calculated daily. Bovine respiratory disease was defined as respiratory tract signs and a rectal temperature > 40°C. Locational data were input into a community detection program to determine daily calf contact and community profiles. The number of BRD cases within each community was determined. A random forest algorithm was then applied to the data to determine whether contact measures were predictive of BRD.

RESULTS Probability of BRD was positively correlated with the number of seconds a calf spent in contact with calves presumably shedding BRD pathogens and number of calves with BRD within the community on the day being evaluated and the previous 2 days. Diagnostic performance of the random forest algorithm varied, with the positive and negative predictive values generally < 10% and > 90%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that direct transmission of BRD pathogens likely occurs among feedlot cattle. The relative contribution of animal-to-animal contact to BRD risk remains unknown and warrants further investigation.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To characterize clinical and behavioral changes in calves following inoculation with Mycoplasma bovis and evaluate relationships between those changes and pulmonary disease.

Animals—22 healthy Holstein steers.

Procedures—20 calves were inoculated intranasally with < 108 CFU or > 109 CFU of M bovis. Calves were assigned a clinical illness score (CIS) on a scale of 1 through 4 twice daily on the basis of severity of cough, labored breathing, and lethargy. For each calf, distance traveled and time spent near the waterer, feed bunk, or shelter were determined via a remote location monitoring device. Calves were euthanized and necropsied 22 days after inoculation.

Results—13 calves became clinically ill after challenge inoculation; 3 calves were euthanized within 20 days. Among all calves, consolidation was evident in 0% to 79.9% of the lungs; extent of lung consolidation did not differ between the challenge dose groups. Distance traveled and percentages of time spent in proximity to the feed bunk and shelter were associated with CIS; calves with more severe disease traveled less distance and spent less time at the feed bunk and more time in the shelter. Distance traveled by calves was negatively associated with extent of lung consolidation (< or ≥ 10% of lungs affected); this effect was modified by trial day.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Following inoculation with M bovis, calf behavior patterns were associated with both CIS and severity of pulmonary disease. Use of behavior monitoring systems may aid in recognition of respiratory tract disease in calves.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare predictive values, extent of agreement, and gamithromycin susceptibility between bacterial culture results of nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) samples obtained from calves with bovine respiratory disease (BRD).

ANIMALS 28 beef calves with clinical BRD.

PROCEDURES Pooled bilateral NPS samples and BALF samples were obtained for bacterial culture from calves immediately before and at various times during the 5 days after gamithromycin (6 mg/kg, SC, once) administration. For each culture-positive sample, up to 12 Mannheimia haemolytica, 6 Pasteurella multocida, and 6 Histophilus somni colonies underwent gamithromycin susceptibility testing. Whole-genome sequencing was performed on all M haemolytica isolates. For paired NPS and BALF samples collected 5 days after gamithromycin administration, the positive and negative predictive values for culture results of NPS samples relative to those of BALF samples and the extent of agreement between the sampling methods were determined.

RESULTS Positive and negative predictive values of NPS samples were 67% and 100% for M haemolytica, 75% and 100% for P multocida, and 100% and 96% for H somni. Extent of agreement between results for NPS and BALF samples was substantial for M haemolytica (κ, 0.71) and H somni (κ, 0.78) and almost perfect for P multocida (κ, 0.81). Gamithromycin susceptibility varied within the same sample and between paired NPS and BALF samples.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated culture results of NPS and BALF samples from calves with BRD should be interpreted cautiously considering disease prevalence within the population, sample collection relative to antimicrobial administration, and limitations of diagnostic testing methods.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research