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Animals 2018, 8(9), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8090156

Relationship between Rectal Temperature and Vaginal Temperature in Grazing Bos taurus Heifers

1
CSIRO, Agriculture and Food, Animal Behaviour and Welfare, FD McMaster Laboratory, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia
2
DPI, Livestock Industries Centre, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Simple Summary

Body temperature is widely used to evaluate health status and thermal balance in cattle. There are numerous well-documented measures of body temperature in cattle including rectal, vaginal, tympanic, and rumen. However, in many instances, the relationship that exists between these measures has not been extensively evaluated. This study evaluated the relationship between rectal temperature and vaginal temperature in grazing beef heifers. Gaining a greater understanding of the relationships that exists between measures of body temperature may allow for greater between-study comparisons to occur.

Abstract

This study evaluated the relationship between rectal temperature (TREC, °C) and vaginal temperature (TVAG, °C) in grazing Bos taurus heifers, to develop an understanding of the reliability of these measures as estimates of core body temperature. Nineteen Angus heifers (BW = 232.2 ± 6.91 kg) were implanted with intra-rectal and intra-vaginal data loggers. Rectal temperature and TVAG were simultaneously recorded at 20 s intervals over 18.5 h. Heifers were housed as a singular cohort on grazing pastures for the duration of the study. A strong linear relationship (R2 = 0.72, p < 0.0001) between the measurement sites was identified. The mean difference between TREC and TVAG was small, in which TVAG was on average 0.22 ± 0.01 °C lower than TREC. Individual twenty second TREC and TVAG data were used to determine the pooled mean TREC and TVAG and then to highlight the within measure variation over time. The coefficient of variation was, on average, lower (p < 0.001) for TVAG (0.38%) than TREC (0.44%), indicating that TVAG exhibited less variation. Overall, the results from the current study suggest that a strong relationship exists between TREC and TVAG, and that TVAG may be a more reliable estimate of core body temperature than TREC in grazing Bos taurus heifers. View Full-Text
Keywords: body temperature; cattle; iButton data logger; rectal temperature; vaginal temperature body temperature; cattle; iButton data logger; rectal temperature; vaginal temperature
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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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Lees, A.M.; Lea, J.M.; Salvin, H.E.; Cafe, L.M.; Colditz, I.G.; Lee, C. Relationship between Rectal Temperature and Vaginal Temperature in Grazing Bos taurus Heifers. Animals 2018, 8, 156.

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