Using wireless telemetry for cattle

In 2014, Amanda M. Egert and her team were among the first to use our emkaPACK wireless telemetry system in cattle1. The objective of this experiment was to develop a methodology to measure the effect of ergot alkaloids on Holstein steers forestomach motility.

According to Amanda, the advantage offered by this solution was that rumen contraction amplitude and frequency were measured for each contraction of the ventral sac, while it was for the entire primary or secondary cycle with alternative methods. In addition, the animals were able to move freely, and the procedure was less invasive than other alternatives.

Since this first experiment, non-invasive wireless telemetry has been used in other studies involving cattle. In March 2022, Shannon Cartwright et al studied the heat stress on Canadian dairy cattle, in the context of climate change2.

Respiration was measured on lactating cattle housed in the tie-stall areas, every 15 min for 12 days, using Respiratory Inductance Plethysmography. A belt was placed around the subject’s thorax. Changes in the cross-sectional area of the torso resulted in changes in the belt’s inductance, which were converted into lung volume.

emkaPACK with RIP belts and ECG electrodes used on a cow

Experiments were also conducted on sheep and ewes, where ECG was measured using external electrodes3.

On horses, both non-invasive and implantable telemetry systems have been used, especially for equine cardiology. In a recent experiment, the abuse of magnesium sulfate in equestrian sport was studied by evaluating its effects on arterial pressure, electrocardiogram, and locomotion in unrestrained horses4.

Horse with ECG electrodes
Horse equipped with ECG electrodes


Empowering researchers

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