Congenital umbilical hernias are relatively common defects in calves and have been observed in several breeds of cattle, including Holstein Friesians.1–3 The overall incidence of umbilical hernias among cattle with congenital defects ranges from 8% to 30%.4 It is generally accepted that a genetic component is involved in congenital umbilical hernias, but hypotheses regarding the mode of inheritance are conflicting.3,5,6 Compared with males, female calves have a significantly higher risk for umbilical hernias.7 The occurrence and economic importance of congenital umbilical hernias were investigated in German Fleckvieh calves.8 In that study,8 the mean difference in market price between calves with and without congenital umbilical hernias was determined; for males, the market price differed by 50%, whereas for females, the market price differed by only 10%.
Surgical procedures involving the abdomen typically require entry into the peritoneal cavity. During healing, changes in the visceral and parietal peritoneum may affect the permeability of the peritoneal membrane to body fluids. Surgical trauma to the abdominal wall and the peritoneal and visceral surfaces during celiotomy is expected to cause postoperative inflammation.9 Subsequently, peritoneal fluid volume increases and leukocytes migrate into the abdominal cavity. These changes make interpretation of the results of peritoneal fluid analysis after surgery more challenging.10,11
Changes in the constituents of peritoneal fluid in adult cattle associated with left-sided displacement of the abomasum, traumatic reticuloperitonitis, septic peritonitis, and intra-abdominal neoplasia have been described, as have changes following laparoscopic surgery, exploratory celiotomy, and omentopexy.10,12,13 The concentration of electrolytes in peritoneal fluid of goats following rumenotomy14 and the evaluation of biochemical and cytologic variables in blood and peritoneal fluid after enterectomy and enteroanastomosis11 have also been reported.
Serial peritoneal fluid evaluation appears to be a useful indicator for assessing peritoneal response to injury.11,15 Early identification of postoperative complications decreases the morbidity and mortality rates among animals undergoing surgery. However, interpretation of values of peritoneal fluid variables following extensive abdominal surgery has not been adequately defined.11
Values of peritoneal fluid variables in calves differ from values in adult cows.16 Calves typically have higher neutrophil and lymphocyte counts and lower total protein concentration in peritoneal fluid, compared with findings in adult cows.16 Other previously described differences are a greater mean absolute eosinophil cell count and a lower fibrinogen concentration, whereas values for mean absolute lymphocyte and mononuclear cell counts are similar to those in adults.17
In cattle that develop abdominal lesions, the leukogram may not change.12,13 Because additional lesions or complications may develop during the postoperative period,18 prior determination of postoperative peritoneal fluid variable values is important for subsequent analysis and interpretation of peritoneal fluid findings.10 However, peritoneal fluid data from young calves with abdominal lesions are not available.17,19
To our knowledge, serial evaluation of the constituents of the peritoneal fluid, whole blood, or plasma in calves with uncomplicated umbilical hernias has not been described. The purpose of the study reported here was to establish reference intervals for cytologic and biochemical variables in peritoneal fluid, blood, and plasma in calves with congenital umbilical hernias before and after herniorrhaphy; assess whether those variables in calves with an umbilical hernia were altered, compared with findings in clinically normal calves; and determine whether such alterations were detectable first in peritoneal fluid, blood, or plasma. All data were compared between calves with and without an umbilical hernia over a 15-day period to exclude a possible effect of repeated paracentesis on peritoneal fluid constituents.
Nucleated cell count
Albendathor 10%, Tortuga, Santo Amaro, SP, Brazil.
Compaz, Pharmacon, Itapira, SP, Brazil.
Coopazine, Coopers, Cotia, SP, Brazil.
Riodeíne tópico p.v.p.i. 10%, Rioquímica, São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil.
Lidovet, Bravet Ltda, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
I-Cath, Becton-Dickinson Ltda, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil.
Vacutainer, Becton Dickinson Vacutainer Systems, Plymouth, England.
Refratômetro manual Uridens, Inlab, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Biosystems model BTS-370 plus, Biosystems, Barcelona, Spain.
Calibrator serum, BioSystems, Barcelona, Spain.
Assayed control level I, BioSystems, Barcelona, Spain.
Assayed control level II, BioSystems, Barcelona, Spain.
BioSystems, Barcelona, Spain.
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST/GOT), BioSystems, Barcelona, Spain.
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)-IFCC (G-GT), BioSystems, Barcelona, Spain.
Instant Prov, NEWPROV, Pinhais, PR, Brazil.
Abc Vet Animal blood counter, HoribaABx Diagnostics, Montpellier, France.
Ethibond Excel, Johnson & Johnson Ltda, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil.
Vycril II, Johnson & Johnson Ltda, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil.
Mononylon, Johnson & Johnson Ltda, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil.
Cyamicina LA 20%, Fort Dodge Ltda, Campinas, SP, Brazil.
SAS, version 8, SAS Institute Inc, Cary, NC.
ProcNPAR1WAY, SAS Institute Inc, Cary, NC.
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