Livestock clientele are increasingly expecting increased diagnostic capability from veterinarians. The first ancillary diagnostic testing that generally follows the physical examination are the complete blood count (CBC) and serum biochemistry. This testing can help further define and refine findings from the physical examination and begin to direct specific or supportive therapy or indicate the need for additional diagnostic testing. The goal for this session is for the attendee to interpret the the results of the CBC and chemistry of ruminants. We will focus on areas in which interpretation for ruminants differs from that of other species, including variation in neutrophil activity and ratios, blood urea nitrogen metabolism, creatinine, chloride, and magnesium. Case examples will be provided to facilitate interpretation and application. Treatment options for replacing and managing electrolyte and macro mineral abnormalities will be included.
Abdominal distention is a common presenting clinical sign in ruminants. Cattle are susceptible to a variety of abdominal syndromes including esophageal obstruction, free gas and frothy bloat, omasal obstruction, abomasal outflow obstruction and displacement, intussusception, and other intestinal disease. Not all abdominal distention is the same and critical evaluation of the abdomen from a distance can provide important initial clues as to the source of disease. The most critical physical examination parameters for evaluating animals with abdominal disease will be reviewed and interpreted, along with the various abdominal shapes. Ancillary diagnostic techniques including rumen fluid analysis, complete blood count and serum biochemistry, abdominocentesis and diagnostic ultrasound will be discussed. Vagal indigestion syndrome will be among the disease syndromes reviewed. General therapeutic principles for abdominal disease will be reviewed, including antimicrobial selection, fluid therapy, anti-inflammatory and analgesic therapy. Placement of a field-friendly rumenostomy will also be reviewed.