The lungs of cattle prone to respiratory disorders

Small, compartmentalized, poorly vascularized… The lungs of cattle have everything to attract respiratory diseases. Especially in meat breeds.

THE respiratory disorders are part of the lot of all breeders. Mortality in young calves, growth retardation in weanlings… But why do cattle cough so easily? Unfortunately for them, their lung morphology is not to their advantage. And if the problem is so widespread, it is because cattle are ” respiratory failure chronicles”.

Natural respiratory failure

Cattle have small lungs in relation to their build. The lungs of an adult man have an average capacity of 4 litres, whereas the lung capacity of a 500 kg bovine is around 12 litres. At equal weight, the respiratory volume cattle is half that of humans. The horse, of comparable build, has a lung volume of 42 litres!

  • Low vascularization

To make matters worse, the lungs of cattle have low vascularization. THE capillariessmall vessels where red blood cells are loaded with oxygen, are less numerous in cattle than in horses.

  • Highly compartmentalized lungs

Cattle lungs are quite compartmentalized. The right lung is divided into 6 lobes, and the left into 3 lobes. This organization certainly makes it possible to compartmentalize the development of pathological foci, but it limits the capacity of the lungs to modify their volume.

And above all, in the presence of lesions, the compartmentalization condemns a part of the lung as soon as it is located downstream of a bronchial obstruction. By comparison, human lungs have collateral pathways to ensure good ventilation despite obstructions.

  • Narrow airways

Cattle also have a trachea and of bronchi quite narrow. Thus, when cattle breathe, the airflow is up to three times faster than in other mammals. This anatomical peculiarity makes the animal vulnerable. Indeed, the respiratory tract has the role of conditioning the ambient air to the sterile universe of the lungs. The speed of the air flow then makes the mucous membranes particularly sensitive to irritation.

A compensatory respiratory rate

To compensate for its weaker physiological capacities, cattle have a ventilation more important. THE volume of air mobilized with each breath represents 30% of the total volume of the lungs, compared to 11% in humans. Her respiratory rate, at a rate of 15 to 35 movements per minute is also higher. Thus, for the same level of blood oxygenation, cattle use up to twice as much air volume as other mammals.

Particularly sensitive weanlings

This fragility is even more pronounced in cattle typed meat. The more the animal’s weight increases, the greater the muscle mass to be oxygenated at a fixed lung volume. THE malesgenerally heavier and more conformable than females, are more affected by respiratory disorders.

Subjected to the same effort, beef cattle show less oxygen and more carbon dioxide in the blood than dairy cattle of the same age.

THE assholes also have fairly narrow airways, which provides so much resistance to airflow. A benign respiratory disease in a dairy cattle may have more serious consequences on a cattle with the culard gene.

Finally, the young animals are particularly sensitive to respiratory disorders, because the maximum efficiency of gas exchange is not reached until the animal is 1 year old.

Related Posts

Lorraine. Ticks and myths in Lorraine: some stinging truths

If there is an insect that we overwhelm with all evil, it is the tick. Dr Élisabeth Baux, you are an infectious disease specialist at the University…

pea pods edible pods provide instant gratification vegetable garden

What to do with pea pods: nutritional qualities

The great richness in fibre, which improves the functioning of the digestive system, makes peas welcome on every table, whatever the season. This legume is available fresh…

Here’s why you absolutely must make your cat non-allergenic!

An allergy can be a serious health hazard if not treated urgently. This is also why the allergy to cat hair can become a real obstacle for…

Where does this expression “fossil energy” come from?

Fossil fuels come from the sedimentation of organic matter (bodies, animals, wood, rocks, metals, etc.). Generally non-renewable, fossil fuels have above all become at risk. We tell…

After the health emergency, the WHO is still trying to learn from the Covid

More than three years after the start of the pandemic, the WHO recently removed Covid-19 from the list of global health emergencies. But we still do not…

Piranhas eat human beings, true or false?

Discover the podcast behind this transcription in Science or Fiction. © Futura First question: what exactly are piranhas? You’re going to tell me it’s a fish. It’s…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *