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Can J Vet Res. 2001 Jan;65(1):50-4.

Comparison of abomasal emptying in neonatal calves with a nuclear scintigraphic procedure.

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Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211, USA.


The purpose of the present study was to demonstrate that nuclear medicine technology allows observation of the effect that milk clotting has on abomasal emptying in the living neonatal calf. Scintigraphic evaluation of abomasal emptying was carried out in 6 healthy male Holstein calves. The calves were fed 10% of their body weight daily as whole cow's milk that was divided equally and consumed as 2 feedings via a nipple bottle. One day before the nuclear scintigraphic procedure, the calves were randomly fed whole cow's milk, or an oral rehydration solution (ORS) containing bicarbonate and high levels of soluble fibre was fed for 3 consecutive feedings an hour before the portion of milk. For each calf, both feeding programs were repeated twice at a one-week interval. Immediately following administration of the 99mTC-sulfur-colloid-containing milk, the calves were imaged with the gamma camera positioned lateral and ventral to the abomasum. Additional right lateral and ventral views of the abomasum were collected at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210, and 240 min after administration of the radionuclide. Blood glucose determination were performed at one-hour intervals for 7 h after feeding milk to evaluate milk digestibility in both feeding programs. No significant differences in the results of the glucose absorption test or in the radionuclide counts of the abomasum were found between both feeding programs. Scintigraphic evaluation of abomasal emptying was found to be a useful technique for visualization of milk clotting and to test the effect of an ORS on milk digestibility.

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