212This lab serves to introduce technicians to a technique that is often performed on cattle to assess rumen function and therefore gastrointestinal health. The collection of rumen fluid and subsequent analysis is a task best undertaken by someone with a working knowledge of rumen anatomy and the associated physiological impact. Because the rumen plays such an important part in the overall nutritional status of ruminant animals, the analysis of its contents is extremely useful in the determination of what may or may not be occurring within the organ which is known for its fermentative abilities.

The AVMA-CVTEA does not directly address rumen fluid testing within the Veterinary Technician Student Essential and Recommended Skills List, however there are several areas in which the proficiency gained within this lab will stand the technician in good stead. These areas include the ability to:

Properly carry out analysis of laboratory specimens

Prepare specimens for diagnostic analysis

Perform microbiological procedures and evaluations to include

Collection of representative samples

Although the guidelines are not specific in terms of addressing rumen fluid collection, students will be able to appreciate the need to understand and be proficient in the laboratory regardless of the specimen with which they are presented.