Is rumenocentesis a safe technique to collect rumen fluid in dairy cows?

rumenocentesis safety complications ruminal fluid dairy cows

Subacute ruminal acidosis is a major issue in dairy cattle and a definite diagnosis is only established by measuring the rumen fluid pH, most credibly collected by rumenocentesis. However, due to its invasive nature, there is still some debate whether it is a safe method or poses risks for cows’ health and welfare. The aim of the study was to retrospectively evaluate the safety of rumenocentesis as a technique to obtain rumen fluid in dairy cows. Results were derived from 2 studies. In study 1, rumenocentesis was performed in 153 Holstein cows from 12 herds, once, between 10 and 90 days in milk (DIM). In study 2, 83 Holstein cows from a dairy farm were repeatedly subjected to rumenocentesisat 30, 90 and 150 DIM. From the 83 cows that were initially enrolled, 8 were culled before the end of the study for reasons irrelative to rumenocentesis; therefore, 236 rumenocenteses were actually performed in study 2 (3 times in 75 cows, twice in 3 cows and once in 5 cows). All cows were monitored for 10 days after rumenocentesis for presence of complications. In addition, daily milk yield was automatically recorded for each cow in study 2 to detect any possiblepost-rumenocentesis short-term reduction of milk yield. Minor only complications were recorded in 7 cases: in 4/153 (2.61%) and 3/236 (1.27%) rumenocenteses in studies 1 and 2, respectively. Small diameter abscesses in 6 cows (3 in study 1 and 3 in study 2) and a larger one in 1 cow in study 1 were observed. The 3 small abscesses in study 2 were all recorded after the 1st rumenocentesis, at DIM 30. All 7 cases were resolved spontaneously within two weeks. Moreover, short-term daily milk yield of study 2 cows was not affected by rumenocentesis. The conclusion is that rumenocentesis is a safe technique to collect small volume of rumen fluid for SARA diagnosis, which does not compromise cows’ health and welfare when appropriately performed.

Article Details
  • Section
  • Research Articles
Download data is not yet available.
Abdela N (2016) Sub-acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA) and its Consequence in Dairy Cattle: A Review of Past and Recent Research at Global Prospective. Achiev Life Sci 10:187-196.
Dirksen GU, Smith MC (1987) Acquisition and analysis of bovine rumen fluid. Bovine Pract 22:108–116.
Duffield T, Plaizier JC, Fairfield A, Bagg R, Vessie G, Dick P, Wilson J, Aramini J, McBride B (2004) Comparison of techniques for measurement of rumen pH in lactating dairy cows. J Dairy Sci 87:59-66.
Enemark JMD (2008) The monitoring, prevention and treatment of subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA): A review. Vet J 176:32–43.
Gianesella M, Morgante M, Stelletta C, Ravarotto L, Giudice E, Van Saun RJ (2010) Evaluating the Effects of Rumenocentesis on Health and Performance in Dairy Cows. Acta Vet Brno 79:459–468.
Hollberg W (1984) Vergleichende Untersuchungen von mittels SCHAMBYE-SØRENSEN-Sonde oder durch Punktion des kaudoventralen Pansensacks gewonnenen Pansensaftproben. Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr 91:317–320.
Kitkas GC, Valergakis GE, Karatzias H, Panousis N (2013) Subacute ruminal acidosis: prevalence and risk G.E. factors in Greek dairy herds. Iran J Vet Res 14:183-189.
Kleen JL, Hooijer GA, Rehage J, Noordhuizen JPT (2003) Subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA): A review. J Vet Med A 50:406-414.
Kleen JL, Hooijer GA, Rehage J, Noordhuizen JP (2004) Rumenocentesis (rumen puncture): a viable instrument in herd health diagnosis. Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr 111:458-462.
Lusk JL, Norwood FB (2008) A survey to determine public opinion about the ethics and governance of farm animal welfare. J Am Vet Med Assoc 233:1121-1126.
Nocek JE (1997) Bovine acidosis: implications on laminitis. J Dairy Sci 80:1005–1028.
Nordlund KV (2007) Questions and answers regarding rumenocentesis and the diagnosis of herd-based subacute rumen acidosis. In: Preconference Seminar 7A: Dairy Herd Problem Investigation Strategies: Lameness, Cow Comfort, and Ruminal Acidosis. 40th Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Nordlund KV, Garrett EF (1994) Rumenocentesis: a technique for collecting rumen fluid for the diagnosis of subacute rumen acidosis in dairy herds. Bovine Pract 28:109–112.
Oetzel GR, Nordlund KV (1998) Methods of evaluating ruminal pH in dairy cattle. In: Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Rome, GA, USA, p. 203.
Strabel D, Ewy A, Kaufmann T, Steiner A, Kirchhofer M (2007) Rumenozentese: Eine geeignete Methode zur pH-Bestimmung im Pansensaft beim Rind? Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd 149:301-306.
Thompson PB (2005) Animal agriculture and the welfare of animals. J Am Vet Med Assoc 226: 1325–1327.
Most read articles by the same author(s)