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Abstract

Objective—To determine risk factors associated with hemorrhagic bowel syndrome (HBS) among dairy cattle in the United States and identify characteristics of HBS in individual cows.

Design—Cross-sectional, population-based survey.

Sample Population—A stratified random sample of 1,013 dairy operations with ≥ 30 cows located in 21 states.

Procedure—Information on management and animal health-related topics was collected with a questionnaire.

Results—HBS was estimated to have been observed on 9.1% of operations during the preceding 5 years and on 5.1% of operations during the preceding 12 months. Factors found in multivariable analysis to be associated with the occurrence of HBS during the preceding 12 months were large herd size, administration of bovine somatotropin, and routine use of milk urea nitrogen concentration to determine ration composition. Use of pasture as part of the lactating cow ration during the growing season was associated with decreased odds of HBS in operations with rolling herd average milk production ≤ 20,000 lb, whereas in operations with higher milk production, use of pasture was not associated with occurrence of HBS. For individual cows with signs consistent with HBS, the third lactation was the median of the parity distribution and the median time between parturition and the onset of clinical signs was 104 days.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that management practices implemented to achieve high milk production may increase the risk of developing HBS in dairy cattle. Increased consumption of a high-energy diet seems to be the most plausible common pathway for all of the risk factors that have been described. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1700–1706)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and glucose concentrations measured with a dual-purpose point-of-care (POC) meter designed for use in humans and a laboratory biochemical analyzer (LBA) to determine whether the POC meter would be reliable for on-farm measurement of blood glucose and BHB concentrations in sheep in various environmental conditions and nutritional states.

Animals—36 pregnant mixed-breed ewes involved in a maternal feed restriction study.

Procedures—Blood samples were collected from each sheep at multiple points throughout gestation and lactation to allow for tracking of gradually increasing metabolic hardship. Whole blood glucose and BHB concentrations were measured with the POC meter and compared with serum results obtained with an LBA.

Results—464 samples were collected. Whole blood BHB concentrations measured with the POC meter compared well with LBA results, and error grid analysis showed the POC values were acceptable. Whole blood glucose concentrations measured with the POC meter had more variation, compared with LBA values, over the glucose ranges evaluated. Results of error grid analysis of POC-measured glucose concentrations were not acceptable, indicating errors likely to result in needless treatment with glucose or other supplemental energy sources in normoglycemic sheep.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The POC meter was user-friendly and performed well across a wide range of conditions. The meter was adequate for detection of pregnancy toxemia in sheep via whole blood BHB concentration. Results should be interpreted with caution when the POC meter is used to measure blood glucose concentrations.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—5 Vietnamese potbellied pigs were evaluated for abdominal distress that had not responded to medical treatment (4 pigs) or a draining tract of the cranial abdomen of unknown duration (1 pig).

Clinical Findings—Clinical signs in the pigs included anorexia, vomiting, and constipation. Physical examination revealed a palpable abdominal mass in all pigs. Radiography revealed distended loops of small intestine in 2 pigs.

Treatment and Outcome—3 pigs were treated successfully with wide-margin excision of the abdominal masses, and 2 were euthanized. Primary tumors were diagnosed at necropsy or through histologic evaluation of biopsy specimens obtained during surgery. Types of tumor included cholangiocellular carcinoma, transmural gastric carcinoma, small intestinal adenocarcinoma, metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma, and carcinoma. The tumors involved the stomach, small intestine, spiral colon, liver, and gall bladder. All 3 surgically treated pigs survived at least 9 months after surgery.

Clinical Relevance—Although rare, neoplasia of the alimentary system should be considered among the differential diagnoses for potbellied pigs with signs of abdominal distress. Wide-margin excision of the neoplastic tissue may result in a good outcome in affected pigs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of systemic disease signs for classifying severity of acute coliform mastitis in dairy cows.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—144 dairy cows.

Procedure—Cows were examined at the time of initial identification of disease (time 0) and classified as having mild, moderate, or severe disease on the basis of rectal temperature, hydration status, rumen contraction rate, and attitude. A CBC and serum biochemical analyses were performed, and milk samples were submitted for bacterial culture at time 0 and 48 hours later.

Results—69 cows were classified as having mild disease, 44 as having moderate disease, and 31 as having severe disease. Median WBC and neutrophil counts were significantly lower in cows with moderate or severe disease at time 0 than in cows with mild disease. Band neutrophil count was significantly higher at 48 hours and serum calcium concentration was significantly lower at time 0 and at 48 hours in cows with severe or moderate disease, compared with cows with mild disease. Twenty-eight, 51, and 77% of cows with mild, moderate, and severe disease, respectively, had > 100,000 colony-forming units/ml of milk at time 0. The odds that a cow with severe disease would die or be culled were 3.6 times the odds for a cow with moderate disease and 11.2 times the odds for a cow with mild disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that a classification scheme based on readily observable systemic disease signs can be used to classify disease severity in cows with acute coliform mastitis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:567–572)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine signalment, history, and clinical, necropsy, and microbiologic findings in dairy cows with hemorrhagic bowel syndrome.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—22 adult dairy cows from a single farm in Colorado.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for information on signalment, medical and reproductive history, the owner's chief complaints, results of physical examinations and ancillary diagnostic tests, treatment and response to treatment, results of microbiologic testing, and, if applicable, postmortem findings.

Results—Common clinical signs were acute signs of profound depression, decreased milk production, tachycardia, ruminal stasis, abdominal distention, and dark clotted blood in the feces. Rectal examination revealed distended loops of small intestine in 7 of 14 cows. Transabdominal ultrasonography revealed small intestinal ileus and distention in 12 of 12 cows and homogeneous echogenic intraluminal material compatible with intraluminal hemorrhage and clot formation in 4. Seven of 8 cows treated medically died; 9 of 13 cows that underwent surgery died or were euthanatized. Clostridium perfringens was isolated from fecal samples from 17 of 20 cows. The most common morphologic diagnosis at necropsy was severe necrohemorrhagic enteritis or jejunitis with intraluminal hemorrhage or blood clots. The most prominent histologic finding was severe, segmental submucosal hemorrhage and edema of the small intestine.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results confirm that in adult cattle, hemorrhagic bowel syndrome is a sporadic acute intestinal disorder characterized by intraluminal hemorrhage and obstruction of the small intestine. Clostridium perfringens was consistently isolated from the feces of affected cows. The prognosis for affected cows was grave. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:686–689)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association