Submitted to: Livestock Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 17, 2014
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Body temperature is an important physiological measure of animal responses to environmental, immunological or endocrine stimuli and is commonly used to monitor the progression of clinical illness. Methods of measuring temperature that do not require animal restraint allow collection of data without creating artifacts attributable to animal handling. The continuous monitoring of temperature responses during a BVDV infection would provide the opportunity to assess the effects of illness on diurnal and cyclic patterns. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to compare multiple types and anatomical locations of temperature measurement devices to monitor/measure basal body temperature by comparing them to measurements obtained from a continuous rectal temperature monitoring device. A secondary objective was to compare the body temperature responses from various anatomical locations when calves were inoculated with BVDV to discern the differences in body temperature responses during an immune response. Results from the current study would suggest while variation was observed between locations, these variations are not significant and the same fluctuations and patterns were observed at each location. The ability to have real-time temperature monitoring of animals would provide the opportunity to identify animals that could potentially be sub-clinical and need preventative measures. The ability to more efficiently determine the health status of an animal without having to handle and disturb them could provide methods to help reduce the cost associated with medication, production losses due to unneeded handling, and more accurate diagnosis of disease.
Technical Abstract: Rectal temperature is generally considered the “gold standard” for monitoring temperature changes associated with environmental, immunological or endocrine stimuli in cattle. With the development of new telemetry systems, other anatomical locations and methods can be utilized to help continuously monitor changes in temperature. The primary objective of this study was to compare basal body temperature obtained from multiple anatomical locations to rectal temperature readings during exposure of cattle to bovine viral diarrhea virus. Anatomically the locations chosen to compare body temperature values were the rectum, rumen, peritoneal cavity, and subcutaneous. Results from the study demonstrate that there were no differences (p>0.05) among body temperatures recorded at these distinct anatomical locations, and that the temperatures followed a similar response pattern. Advantages and disadvantages were also noted for each of the temperature devices used in the study. The ability to continuously monitor data at over the course of an infection provides the ability to assess signs of clinical illness without inducing changes associated with handling the animals to obtain temperature measurements. Efficiently determining the health status of an animal without introducing artificial changes in body temperature could aid in the development of alternative management practices that would help reduce the cost associated with medication, production losses due to unneeded handling, and more accurate diagnosis of disease.