Which cows to assess:
Non-ambulatory cows will be checked to ensure that they have adequate food, water, and shelter (Critical Criteria). Non-ambulatory cows without sufficient access to water may become dehydrated.
How to assess:
Hydration status will be assessed with the "Skin Tent" test:
- Step 1: Pinch the skin of the animal's neck, pulling up gently
- Step 2: The skin of well-hydrated cows will quickly return to a normal, smooth position on the neck once the pinch is released
- Step 3: The skin of dehydrated cows will remain pinched, raised, or wrinkled after the pinched skin is released
As dehydration is so rare, there is no corresponding test for this measure.