Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Body temperature in early postpartum dairy cows (2014)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Burfeind, O (WE 19)
    Suthar, V S
    Voigtsberger, R (WE 19)
    Bonk, S (WE 19)
    Heuwieser, W (WE 19)
    Theriogenology; 82(1) — S. 121–131
    ISSN: 0093-691x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2014.03.006
    Pubmed: 24742963
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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    A strategy widely adopted in the modern dairy industry is the introduction of postpartum health monitoring programs by trained farm personnel. Within these fresh cow protocols, various parameters (e.g., rectal temperature, attitude, milk production, uterine discharge, ketones) are evaluated during the first 5 to 14 days in milk (DIMs) to diagnose relevant diseases. It is well documented that 14% to 66% of healthy cows exhibit at least one temperature of 39.5 °C or greater within the first 10 DIM. Although widely adopted, data on diagnostic performance of body temperature (BT) measurement to diagnose infectious diseases (e.g., metritis, mastitis) are lacking. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify possible factors associated with BT in postpartum dairy cows. A study was conducted on a commercial dairy farm including 251 cows. In a total of 217 cows, a vaginal temperature logger was inserted from DIM 2 to 10, whereas 34 cows did not receive a temperature logger as control. Temperature loggers measured vaginal temperature every 10 minutes. Rectal temperature was measured twice daily in all cows. On DIM 2, 5, and 10, cows underwent a clinical examination. Body temperature was influenced by various parameters. Primiparous cows had 0.2 °C higher BT than multiparous cows. Multiparous cows that calved during June and July had higher BT than those that calved in May. In primiparous cows, this effect was only evident from DIM 7 to 10. Furthermore, abnormal calving conditions (i.e., assisted calving, dead calf, retained placenta, twins) affected BT in cows. This effect was more pronounced in multiparous cows. Abnormal vaginal discharge did increase BT in primiparous and multiparous cows. Primiparous cows suffering from hyperketonemia (beta-hydroxybutyrat ≥ 1.4 mmol/L) had higher BT than those not affected. In multiparous cows, there was no association between hyperketonemia and BT. The results of this study clearly demonstrate that BT is influenced by various parameters in dairy cows. Therefore, these parameters have to be considered when interpreting measurements of BT in dairy cows. This information helps to explain the high incidence of type I and II errors when measuring BT and clearly illustrates that measures of BT should not be used as a single criterion to decide whether or not to provide antibiotic treatment to dairy cows. However, research-based test characteristics of other parameters (e.g., vaginal discharge) alone or in combination with BT are still lacking.