The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of long-distance road transport (19 h, from Poland to Italy) during 2 seasons (summer vs. winter) on clinical and hematological variables in calves. The environmental temperature range that could compromise the thermoregulation system (thermal stress) of the calves was tested. For the 7 Holstein calves in each transport, the BW and rectal temperature (RT) were measured, and blood samples were collected at the farm of origin, before loading at the transit center (T2), after unloading at the farm of destination (T3), and 1, 2, 3, and 4 d after arrival. The body temperature (BT) and heart rate (HR) were continuously monitored from T2 to T3. The data were statistically analyzed according to a mixed model that considered the fixed effects of transport (repeated measurements), season of journey, and their interaction. Within the observed temperature-humidity index (THI) range (30 to 80), effective thermoregulation allowed the calves to maintain their BT with small physiologic changes to prevent thermal stress, particularly in the summer. With no seasonal differences, the HR was greater at loading than unloading (120 vs. 115 beats per min; P = 0.012). As for the transport effect, the BW was less (P < 0.001) after unloading, and the RT was greater (P = 0.004). This effect was more marked in summer. The hematological variables indicated a moderate effect of transport on the hydration condition, reactive and muscular systems, and metabolism, although hematocrit (P = 0.004), erythrocytes, cortisol, NEFA, β-hydroxybutyrate, lactate, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and aspartate aminotransferase activity (P < 0.001), and total protein (P = 0.007) were greater after unloading. This was confirmed by a moderate decrease in total leukocytes (P = 0.031) and glucose concentration (P = 0.002). The changes in the clinical variables were similar for both seasons even though in the summer, hematocrit (P < 0.001), urea (P = 0.008), and total protein (P = 0.010) increased and glucose concentration (P = 0.038) decreased. In conclusion, the data did not show a pronounced effect attributable to the season of the journey. Long-distance road transport leads to notable changes in clinical and hematological variables at the end of the journey. However, these variables remained within their physiological ranges and returned to basal values within a few days after the journey.

The effects of different environmental conditions on thermoregulation and clinical and hematological variables in long-distance road-transported calves

PELI, ANGELO;NANNI COSTA, LEONARDO;
2012

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of long-distance road transport (19 h, from Poland to Italy) during 2 seasons (summer vs. winter) on clinical and hematological variables in calves. The environmental temperature range that could compromise the thermoregulation system (thermal stress) of the calves was tested. For the 7 Holstein calves in each transport, the BW and rectal temperature (RT) were measured, and blood samples were collected at the farm of origin, before loading at the transit center (T2), after unloading at the farm of destination (T3), and 1, 2, 3, and 4 d after arrival. The body temperature (BT) and heart rate (HR) were continuously monitored from T2 to T3. The data were statistically analyzed according to a mixed model that considered the fixed effects of transport (repeated measurements), season of journey, and their interaction. Within the observed temperature-humidity index (THI) range (30 to 80), effective thermoregulation allowed the calves to maintain their BT with small physiologic changes to prevent thermal stress, particularly in the summer. With no seasonal differences, the HR was greater at loading than unloading (120 vs. 115 beats per min; P = 0.012). As for the transport effect, the BW was less (P < 0.001) after unloading, and the RT was greater (P = 0.004). This effect was more marked in summer. The hematological variables indicated a moderate effect of transport on the hydration condition, reactive and muscular systems, and metabolism, although hematocrit (P = 0.004), erythrocytes, cortisol, NEFA, β-hydroxybutyrate, lactate, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and aspartate aminotransferase activity (P < 0.001), and total protein (P = 0.007) were greater after unloading. This was confirmed by a moderate decrease in total leukocytes (P = 0.031) and glucose concentration (P = 0.002). The changes in the clinical variables were similar for both seasons even though in the summer, hematocrit (P < 0.001), urea (P = 0.008), and total protein (P = 0.010) increased and glucose concentration (P = 0.038) decreased. In conclusion, the data did not show a pronounced effect attributable to the season of the journey. Long-distance road transport leads to notable changes in clinical and hematological variables at the end of the journey. However, these variables remained within their physiological ranges and returned to basal values within a few days after the journey.
D. Bernardini; G. Gerardi; A. Peli; L. Nanni Costa; M. Amadori; S. Segato
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/116207
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