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Animals 2015, 5(4), 1268-1295; doi:10.3390/ani5040411

Models and Methods to Investigate Acute Stress Responses in Cattle

Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E3, Canada
Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5, Canada
Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lee Niel
Received: 29 September 2015 / Revised: 9 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 3 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Stress and Pain Assessment)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1489 KB, uploaded 3 December 2015]   |  


There is a growing appreciation within the livestock industry and throughout society that animal stress is an important issue that must be addressed. With implications for animal health, well-being, and productivity, minimizing animal stress through improved animal management procedures and/or selective breeding is becoming a priority. Effective management of stress, however, depends on the ability to identify and quantify the effects of various stressors and determine if individual or combined stressors have distinct biological effects. Furthermore, it is critical to determine the duration of stress-induced biological effects if we are to understand how stress alters animal production and disease susceptibility. Common stress models used to evaluate both psychological and physical stressors in cattle are reviewed. We identify some of the major gaps in our knowledge regarding responses to specific stressors and propose more integrated methodologies and approaches to measuring these responses. These approaches are based on an increased knowledge of both the metabolic and immune effects of stress. Finally, we speculate on how these findings may impact animal agriculture, as well as the potential application of large animal models to understanding human stress. View Full-Text
Keywords: bovine; cortisol; epinephrine; kinome; physical stress; psychological stress; immunometabolomics bovine; cortisol; epinephrine; kinome; physical stress; psychological stress; immunometabolomics

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chen, Y.; Arsenault, R.; Napper, S.; Griebel, P. Models and Methods to Investigate Acute Stress Responses in Cattle. Animals 2015, 5, 1268-1295.

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