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Comparison of temperature fluctuations at multiple anatomical locations in cattle during exposure to bovine viral diarrhea virus

Falkenberg, S.M., Ridpath, J., Vander Ley, B., Bauermann, F.V., Sanchez, N.C. Burdick, Carroll, J.A.
Livestock science 2014 v.164 pp. 159
Bovine viral diarrhea virus, administrative management, animal handling, body temperature changes, cattle, cost effectiveness, development aid, disease diagnosis, drug therapy, exposure, health status, monitoring, peritoneum, rectum, rumen, telemetry, thermometers
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.