Ruminant Restraint and Basic Physical Examination

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"I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we've got to do it
right. We've got to give those animals a decent life and we've got to give them
a painless death. We owe the animal respect."
—Temple Grandin
Ruminant Restraint
Dr. Dipa Brahmbhatt VMD, MPH,
MS
Question
 Livestock husbandry practices are dictated
by the intended use of the animal.
 Even though all cattle have similar
instincts, husbandry practices can have a
significant effect on an animal’s behavior.
 What are some of the basic behavioral
differences of beef cattle and dairy cattle
that affect the way that they are handled
and restrained?
Beef Cattle – Cow/Calf Producers
NE,TX, KS
 Before the feedlot, spend
most of their time in open
range or field settings.
 Handled and restrained only
occasionally: vaccination and
deworming.
 Suspicious of humans and
enclosures (pens and chutes),
and are usually more difficult to
segregate and restrain.
 Caution: Beef bulls and cows
with calves
Dairy cattle
 Temperament
 nervous cow
 the docile cow
 the balker
(obstinate)
 the chronic kicker
 Dairy bulls should
never by trusted
 Cows with calves
 Facility
 dark barns are apt
to be nervous.
 Better in a well
lighted, well
ventilated one
 sedative or
anesthetic
Ferocious Bull
Dairy Cattle
 Dairy cattle are handled more
frequently and spend much
less time in open settings.
 Dairy cows are milked twice
daily while lactating, and the
lactation cycle lasts on
average 8-10 months of the
year.
 Breeding is done by artificial
insemination.
 Calves are often reared in
enclosures with frequent
human contact.
 In generaL, dairy cattle tend to
be much easier to handle and
restrain. (Caution on dairy
bulls and mums)
Most veterinarian procedures required
two stages of animal handling:
1. The individual most be separate from the
herd (herding instinct)
2. The individual must then be restrained
appropriately for the procedure
• Drive
animals to
pen/corral
/“tub”
• Tub to
alleyway to
working
chute
Moving and Herding Cattle
 CALM
 Should not move faster




than a walk
SHOULDER
 Aka: point of balance
 Behind > forward
 Front > backwards
Ask the farmer 
Cattle move toward light
STRESS > DISEASE AND
LOW PERFORMANCE
Tailing
Backstops
Spring loaded panels pushed forward as animal moves through than
popped back in place
Chute Restraint
 The working
chute is
designed to
hold one
animal at the
time
 Silencer
chute
Chute Restraint
Self
closing
head catch
or
manually
“Posting”
Use both hands
• Fully restrain head
before working with
animal
• Head first squeeze
later
Nose lead
Challenges
 Cow is down
 Occlude trachea or
blood flow to the
cranium
 Handle calmly
 Only 1 hand inside
chute
 Head restraint
may be applied to
cooperative
animals, without
use of a chute, but
most individuals
must be placed in
a chute first.
 "the part that
draws goes
under the jaws.“
 Not for beef
 Cattle halters are
used to control the
head by tying or
securing the head to
an immovable object
with a rope attached
to the halter
 Watch trachea and
eye
QUICK RELEASE
Restraints that divert attention
 Tail restraint
 Nose lead/ “nose
tongs”
 IV injection
 Udder surgery
 Examine hoof
 Restraint of the head
Nose leads
 They apply blunt,
pinching pressure to
the nasal septum.
 Supplement with halter
and/or with head
restraint
 Nasal septum may be
torn with violent
movement
• Don’t use in calves
• If tie knot: quick release and monitor
carefully
Nose rings
 Placed through the
nasal septum and are
often used in bulls
 Should not be used to
tie the head for head
restraint
 Only for additional
control of the head
but: nasal septum can
be torn
Tail Restraint
• Cattle tail not as strong as horse
• Don’t include vertebrae
TAIL JACK
Leg Restraint
Over common
• Calcaneal tendon, just above
the hocks
• Hobbels/ Hoppels – No Kicking
• Flank rope – No Kicking
Leg Restraint
Leg Restraint: Front Leg Hoppel
PE or treatmen
ASSISTANT
A rope with an eye in
one end is used to form
a loop around the
pastern.
The other end of the
rope passes over the
withers where is should
be held by an assistant
so that it can be
released quickly if the
cow starts to go down.
Beam and Hook - HL
Other method
If more
than 30
min.
NPO
Casting – Rope Squeeze
 Casting is a method
of forcing an animal to
the ground, usually
with ropes
 Prefer R lateral
recumbency:
discourages bloat
 Casting - calving
Casting – Burley Method
Advantages
• Less time
• No respiratory/
CVS pressure
• No pressure in
genitalia area
Dr. D. R. Burley of Georgia
Recumbent animal
 Stand next to spine
 Back/ Rib/ Thigh
 Tap, slap or poke (blunt item)
 Knee
 Electric cattle prod only if necessary
Calf restraint
 Separate the calf from mother first
 One arm around chest and other around base of tail
 Lateral recumbency: “Flanking”, slide down your legs
DO NOT throw calf on ground
 1 knee on neck and other holding HL
Calf restraint
 Do not throw the calf
to the ground
 Do not place the
entire bodyweight on
the calf and do not
occlude the trachea
Video
http://vetvideos.com/restraintcattle.htm
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1725026942547112254
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8512037
042653473796
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6761217048822203559
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3356654913389880021
References
 http://research.vet.upenn.edu/Dairy/Restraint/Re
straintsthatDivertAttention/NoseLead/tabid/3904/
Default.aspx
 K Holtgrew-Bohling , Large Animal Clinical
Procedures for Veterinary Technicians, 2nd
Edition, Mosby, 2012, ISBN: 97803223077323
 McCurnin, Dennis and Bassert, Joanna, Clinical
Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, 6th Edition,
W. B. Saunders, 2005, ISBN 0721606121.
Editions
 Dr. Mendoza
 Dr. Brahmbhatt
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