Clinical and laboratory assessment of hydration status of neonatal calves with diarrhea

Peter D. Constable From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

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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 61802.

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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 61802.

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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 61802.

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 DVM, MS

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Objective

To develop accurate, objective guidelines for assessing hydration status of neonatal calves with diarrhea.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

15 male dairy calves 3 to 10 days old.

Procedure

Dehydration and diarrhea were induced by administration of diuretic agents (ie, furosemide, spironolactone, hydrochlorothiazide) and sucrose solution. Linear regression was used to examine the relationship between potentially useful factors for evaluating hydration status (extent of enophthalmos; skin-tent duration on neck, thorax, and upper and lower eyelids; heart rate; mean central venous pressure; peripheral [extremity] and core [rectal] temperatures; core-peripheral [rectal-extremity] temperature difference; PCV; and hemoglobin and plasma protein concentrations) and degree of dehydration, as determined by change in body weight.

Results

Best predictors of degree of dehydration were extent of enophthalmos, skin elasticity on neck and thorax, and plasma protein concentration.

Clinical Implications

These experimentally determined guidelines provide practitioners with a simple, inexpensive, and practical method for evaluating hydration status of neonatal calves with diarrhea. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212:991–996)

Objective

To develop accurate, objective guidelines for assessing hydration status of neonatal calves with diarrhea.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

15 male dairy calves 3 to 10 days old.

Procedure

Dehydration and diarrhea were induced by administration of diuretic agents (ie, furosemide, spironolactone, hydrochlorothiazide) and sucrose solution. Linear regression was used to examine the relationship between potentially useful factors for evaluating hydration status (extent of enophthalmos; skin-tent duration on neck, thorax, and upper and lower eyelids; heart rate; mean central venous pressure; peripheral [extremity] and core [rectal] temperatures; core-peripheral [rectal-extremity] temperature difference; PCV; and hemoglobin and plasma protein concentrations) and degree of dehydration, as determined by change in body weight.

Results

Best predictors of degree of dehydration were extent of enophthalmos, skin elasticity on neck and thorax, and plasma protein concentration.

Clinical Implications

These experimentally determined guidelines provide practitioners with a simple, inexpensive, and practical method for evaluating hydration status of neonatal calves with diarrhea. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212:991–996)

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