Pinch Withers

Withers Pinch Test

Many gastrointestinal diseases cause abdominal pain in the cow.  Cows with GI pain often stand hunched up with their elbows abducted.  The withers can be pinched as shown in  the above picture (sometimes it requires two hands).  A normal cow will dorsiflex her back when her withers are pinched as seen above.  A cow who is painful will not dorsiflex.  False negatives are common.  Common reasons for abdominal pain are hardware, abomasal ulcers, or distention  of the small intestine with gas. 


Grunt Test

Either by using your fists pushed up with your knee or by using a board with one person on each side lifting the  board up, apply pressure to the xyphoid region.  If the cow grunts, kicks, or acts uncomfortable, you can assume she is painful.  Often, you have to listen over the trachea to hear a grunt.



Click on your next PE point to continue with your physical exam.




Copyright 1999-2001
New Bolton Center Field Service Department
Students:  Keith Javic - Class of 2003, C. Nikki Conroy - Class of 2003