Use of peripheral temperature and core-peripheral temperature difference to predict cardiac output in dehydrated calves housed in a thermoneutral environment

Peter D. Constable From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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 BVSc, PhD
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Pamela G. Walker From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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 DVM
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Dawn E. Morin From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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 DVM, MS
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Jonathan H. Foreman From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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 DVM, MS
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John C. Thurmon From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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 DVM, MS

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SUMMARY

Objective

To investigate the relation between cardiac output (CO) and peripheral (fetlock) temperature (PT) and core-peripheral (rectal-fetlock) temperature difference (CPTD) in dehydrated calves housed in a thermoneutral environment.

Animals

28 male dairy calves 3 to 10 days old.

Procedure

Severe dehydration and watery diarrhea were induced by administering diuretics (furosemide, hydrohlorothiazide, spironolactone) and sucrose solution. Cardiac output was measured by means of thermodilution, core temperature was determined by placing a digital thermometer in the rectum, and PT was measured by taping a thermistor to the left hind fetlock and insulating the thermistor from ambient air.

Results

In thermoneutral ambient temperatures (10 to 24 C), PT and CPTD were constant and independent of CO at normal or high CO values but were linearly dependent on CO below a critical value (78% of normal CO output). Regression equations were developed that predicted CO from measured PT or CPTD. At ambient temperatures below the lower critical temperature for neonatal calves (8 to 10 C), normal values for PT and CPTD in healthy calves were significantly different from those at thermoneutral ambient temperatures.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Peripheral temperature and CPTD are practical, noninvasive, and inexpensive but only moderately useful methods for predicting CO in hemodynamically stable calves housed in a thermoneutral environment. Thus, these parameters are of some value in daily monitoring of the response to treatment and in determining need for IV fluid administration in dehydrated calves housed at a dry still-air temperature of 10 to 24 C but are of minimal to no value in calves housed at < 10 C. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:874–880)

SUMMARY

Objective

To investigate the relation between cardiac output (CO) and peripheral (fetlock) temperature (PT) and core-peripheral (rectal-fetlock) temperature difference (CPTD) in dehydrated calves housed in a thermoneutral environment.

Animals

28 male dairy calves 3 to 10 days old.

Procedure

Severe dehydration and watery diarrhea were induced by administering diuretics (furosemide, hydrohlorothiazide, spironolactone) and sucrose solution. Cardiac output was measured by means of thermodilution, core temperature was determined by placing a digital thermometer in the rectum, and PT was measured by taping a thermistor to the left hind fetlock and insulating the thermistor from ambient air.

Results

In thermoneutral ambient temperatures (10 to 24 C), PT and CPTD were constant and independent of CO at normal or high CO values but were linearly dependent on CO below a critical value (78% of normal CO output). Regression equations were developed that predicted CO from measured PT or CPTD. At ambient temperatures below the lower critical temperature for neonatal calves (8 to 10 C), normal values for PT and CPTD in healthy calves were significantly different from those at thermoneutral ambient temperatures.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Peripheral temperature and CPTD are practical, noninvasive, and inexpensive but only moderately useful methods for predicting CO in hemodynamically stable calves housed in a thermoneutral environment. Thus, these parameters are of some value in daily monitoring of the response to treatment and in determining need for IV fluid administration in dehydrated calves housed at a dry still-air temperature of 10 to 24 C but are of minimal to no value in calves housed at < 10 C. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:874–880)

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