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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Livestock Behavior Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #392539

Research Project: Protecting the Welfare of Food Producing Animals

Location: Livestock Behavior Research

Title: Technical Note: A procedure to place urinary catheters in 1- and 6-week-old preweaned Holstein heifer calves for the in vivo evaluation of intestinal permeability

item CEJA, GUADALUPE - Purdue University
item BOERMAN, JACQUELYN - Purdue University
item NEVES, RAFAEL - Purdue University
item JOHNSON, NICHOLAS - Purdue University
item SCHOONMAKER, JON - Purdue University
item Jorgensen, Matthew
item Johnson, Jay

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/27/2022
Publication Date: 6/9/2022
Citation: Ceja, G., Boerman, J.P., Neves, R.C., Johnson, N.S., Schoonmaker, J.P., Jorgensen, M.W., Johnson, J.S. 2022. Technical Note: A procedure to place urinary catheters in 1- and 6-week-old preweaned Holstein heifer calves for the in vivo evaluation of intestinal permeability. Journal of Animal Science. 100(8). Article skac213.

Interpretive Summary: Neonatal calves are highly susceptible to enteric disease during their first few weeks of life, and enteric disease is the leading cause of pre-weaning morbidity and mortality. A contributing factor to enteric disease is greater gastrointestinal tract permeability in neonatal calves mediated by disease states or environmental factors. Therefore, an accurate and precise method of evaluating gastrointestinal tract permeability in neonatal calves is necessary to develop appropriate treatment and mitigation strategies. The oral administration of indigestible markers and their presence in calf urine is an effective method to determine total gastrointestinal tract permeability. However, current urine collection methods may not be reliable in preweaned heifer calves due to anatomical incompatibility. As such, this study was designed to develop a urinary catheterization method to collect urine accurately and precisely for the analysis of gastrointestinal tract permeability in 1- and 6-week-old Holstein heifer calves. It was determined that the urinary catheterization procedure and collection system developed in this study was viable and could be applied when evaluating gastrointestinal tract permeability in preweaned Holstein heifer calves using orally dosed indigestible markers.

Technical Abstract: Urine collection is a useful tool to analyze gastrointestinal tract (GIT) permeability in cattle for research and diagnostic purposes. However, urine sampling techniques often rely on total waste collection, which reduces the ability to perform more frequent sampling and obtain accurate and sterile urine volumes. A potential alternative is urethral catheters, but they have not been thoroughly tested in preweaned heifer calves. The study objective was to develop a urethral catheter placement procedure in preweaned heifer calves for continuous and accurate urine collection to evaluate GIT permeability using chromium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (Cr-EDTA) as an indigestible marker. Fifteen Holstein heifer calves had catheters placed at approximately 1 week (8.0 ± 1.5 d) and 6 weeks (40.0 ± 1.5 d) of age. During the procedure, calves were individually housed and restrained. The vulva was cleaned using betadine and 70% ethanol and then a sterile, lubricated speculum was inserted into the vagina. A sterile 0.09 cm diameter guidewire was inserted into a lubricated, sterile 10 French catheter. The catheter was inserted ~5-7 cm into the urethral opening, guided into the bladder, and the catheter balloon was filled with 8-10 mL of water. The guide wire was removed, and urine flow confirmed correct placement before a 4 L urinary drainage bag was attached to the catheter. Approximately 20 h after catheterization, 1 L of Cr-EDTA was orally dosed to the calves to evaluate GIT permeability. Individual calf health observations were made twice over a 24 h period and any occurrence of vaginal discharge, tissue discharge in catheter, bleeding, inflammation, or abnormal urine was considered a negative health effect. Occurrence rate was determined using PROC FREQ, and total Cr output was analyzed using PROC GLIMMIX in SAS 9.4. For 1-week-old calves, negative health effects occurred at a rate of 20.0 ± 0.42%, and the occurrence rate for 6-week-old calves was 13.33 ± 0.35%. In the first 4 h, urine was collected every 15 min and there were no overall Cr output differences (P = 0.38; 10.28 ± 3.21 mg Cr) when comparing 1- and 6-week-old calves. However, 1-week-old calves tended (P = 0.08) to have greater Cr output at 480 min (19.2%) and 1440 min (41.9%) when compared to 6-week-old calves. In summary, catheterization is a viable method for total urine collection and the determination of GIT permeability via the use of Cr-EDTA in preweaned heifer calves.