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The effect of right paralumbar fossa exploratory celiotomy and omentopexy on peritoneal fluid constituents was studied in 22 adult dairy cows. Six cows were eliminated on the basis of physical examination findings (n = 2), surgical findings (n = 2), or inability to obtain a sufficient volume of peritoneal fluid (n = 2). Sixteen cattle had normal results of cbc and serum biochemical analysis, and a minimum of 1 ml of peritoneal fluid was obtained by abdominocentesis. Abdominocentesis was repeated on days 1, 2, and 6 after surgery. Statistical analysis for repeated measures was performed, using a significance level of P < 0.05. Stage of gestation was evaluated for interaction with time.

Mean total nucleated cell count was 3,200 cells/μl before surgery, was significantly increased 2 days after surgery (16,336 cells/μl), and continued to increase through day 6 (20,542 cells/μl). Mean polymorphonuclear cell count was 1,312 cells/μl before surgery and was significantly higher at 2 (11,043 cells/μl) and 6 (10,619 cells/μl) days after surgery. Mean lymphocyte count was 254 cells/μl before surgery and was significantly increased 2 days (1,911 cells/μl) after surgery. By day 6, lymphocyte numbers were similar to preoperative values. Mean mononuclear cell count was 770 cells/μl before surgery and was significantly increased on days 1 (3,084 cells/μl), 2 (3,285 cells/μl), and 6 (2,349 cells/μl) after surgery. Mean eosinophil numbers were 1,388 cells/μl before surgery and were significantly increased on day 6 (6,347 cells/μl) only. Interaction between time and stage of gestation was found only for specific gravity and total protein concentration. In general, specific gravity and total protein concentration increased after surgery (mean before surgery, 1.016 and 3.6 g/dl; mean after surgery, 1.021 and 5.6 g/dl). Left paralumbar fossa celiotomy performed 7 days after surgery did not reveal complications of repeated abdominocentesis, and pregnancy status was unchanged.

Peritoneal fluid constituents are highly variable after exploratory celiotomy and omentopexy in cattle. However, results of this study may provide a reference for interpretation of postoperative peritoneal fluid sample findings in cattle.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Reference values for hematologic variables change with increasing age in cattle. Therefore, the purpose of the study reported here was to describe the peritoneal fluid constitutents of clinically normal young calves, and to compare cellular concentration and distribution in blood and peritoneal fluid of young calves with those of adult cattle.

Eight healthy 8-week-old male Holstein calves and 8 healthy 3- to 8-year-old Holstein cows were studied. Peritoneal fluid was collected from calves along the ventral midline, 4-cm cranial to the umbilicus. Abdominocentesis was performed in the region of the lower right flank in adult cattle. Correlation analysis, using the Pearson's correlation coefficient, and regression analysis were performed for blood and peritoneal fluid data from calves. Data from calves were compared with those of cows, using Wilcoxon's rank sum test. A P value < 0.05 was considered significant for all tests.

Calves had significantly lower blood eosinophil count (P < 0.003) and plasma protein concentration (P < 0.001) than did cows. Calves had significantly higher peritoneal fluid nucleated cell (P < 0.05) and mononuclear cell (P < 0.05) counts, but lower peritoneal fluid eosinophil cell count (P < 0.003) than did cows. For calves, nucleated cell and lyphocyte cell counts in the blood had a high, positive correlation with those of peritoneal fluid. However, the prediction equation for nucleated cell count accounted for a modest proportion of variability. A prediction equation for peritoneal fluid lymphocyte cell count was established.

On the basis of results of this study, reference ranges established for peritoneal fluid constituents of clinically normal adult cattle may not be appropriate for interpretation of peritoneal fluid analysis of calves.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research