Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Rumenocentesis and rumen fluid analysis

Contributor(s): Alice Johnson , Keith Cutler

Introduction

  • Rumen fluid sampling can be a useful aid in the diagnosis of nutritional problems in dairy cows, most notably sub-acute rumen acidosis (SARA) at a herd level.
  • The correct selection of animals, and timing of sampling is critical in achieving an accurate diagnosis.
  • Results should be evaluated in conjunction with other clinical signs.
  • May also be of use in the individual animal suspected of having acute rumen acidosis eg secondary to cereal overeating.
  • Samples can be obtained by stomach tube, but are most frequently collected by rumenocentesis.

Uses

Advantages

  • A quick and straightforward means of assessing rumen fluid, and measuring pH.

Disadvantages

  • Both orogastric sampling and rumenocentesis are invasive and cause a degree of pain for the animal, although a small study by Mialon et al (2012), concluded rumenocentesis was no more stressful for the animal than handling and restraint.
  • The same authors considered the technique to be ethically justified as a diagnostic procedure but consideration would need to be given as to the ethics of a the procedure when used as a routine monitoring tool.
Results can be difficult to interpret.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Excellent for procedure itself.
  • Long term prognosis dependant on results of sample analysis.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Atkinson O (2017) Rumenocentesis: a useful technique for diagnosis and monitoring of rumen health in cattle. Livestock vol 22 (5) 240 - 243.
  • Shen J, Chai L, Song L, Liu J & Wu Y (2012) Insertion depth of oral stomach tubes may affect the fermentation parameters of ruminal fluid collected in dairy cows. J Dairy Sci 95 (10), 5978 - 5984 PubMed.
  • Mialon M, Deiss V, Andason S, Anglard F, Doreau M & Veissier I (2012) An assessment of the impact of rumenocentesis on pain and stress in cattle and the effect of local anaesthesia. The Veterinary Journal 194 (1), 55-59 PubMed.
  • Tajik J, Nadalian M, Raoofi A, Mohammadi G & Bahonar A (2011) Evaluation of rumenocentesis practicability as a routine diagnostic technique in veterinary practice. 85 (5), 557 - 561 VetMedResource.
  • Cockroft P & Jackson P (2004) Clinical examination of the abdomen in adult cattle. In Practice 26 (6), 304 - 317 VetMedResource.
  • Aceto H, Simeone J & Ferguson D (2000) Effects of rumenocentesis on health and productivity in dairy cows. Journal of animal science (83), 40.


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