In 2012, we hosted a clinic by Dr. Tim Holt from Colorado State University, on PAP testing. PAP is Pulmonary Arterial Pressure. Running Angus cattle at higher elevations can cause something called Brisket Disease, which is recognized by labored breathing and swelling in the brisket area. If you get the cow or calf down the mountain to a lower elevation, sometimes you can save their lives. Sometimes you can’t.
The cattle won’t ever get over it… it is genetic. It is something that we look for when we buy bulls. A lower PAP score means they will do OK at higher elevation, and so will, hopefully, their offspring.
I have a great video of Dr. Holt where he goes into detail if you’re interested.
Daniel had a local vet come test his registered herd. A large needle is inserted into the jugular. A catheter is then run down the vein into the heart. It continues through the heart, and is stopped between the heart and lungs. The pressure is read on the screen, which, unfortunately, never gives a good photo!
It honestly takes longer to wash and disinfect her neck than it does to insert the needle and catheter! The halter is to hold her still. Jerking around would make it impossible to hit the jugular, which the vet can do amazingly well… and cows just have a ton of power in those swinging heads.
Though it sounds intense… it is over in a few minutes, and she’s free to go on her merry way.
All of Daniel’s herd scored well, and results will be shared with the Angus Association.