Growth performance of cattle following percutaneous liver biopsy utilizing a Schackelford-Courtney biopsy instrument


  • Glenn M. Rogers Beef Cattle, 138 Rim Rock Rd., Aledo, TX 76008
  • Dawn J. Capucille Beef Cattle, Clinical Instructor, Dept. of Farm Animal Health and Resource Mgmt., North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • Matthew H. Poore Associate Professor of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • John Maas Extension Veterinarian, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616
  • James E. Smallwood Professor of Anatomy, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606



biopsy, calves, diagnostic techniques, feed conversion efficiency, feed intake, growth, liver


Percutaneous liver biopsy has been utilized routinely in cattle as a diagnostic and research tool. However, there is little information on the effect on post-procedural performance. This paper describes a modified technique utilizing a Schackelford-Courtney bovine liver biopsy instrument, which generally obviates the need for multiple entries. Two trials were performed to evaluate post-procedural growth performance. In Trial 1, performed on finishing cattle, average daily gain (ADG) from the date the procedures (liver biopsy, ruminocentesis, orogastric intubation) were performed through the end of the 120-day finishing period was not different (p>0.25). However, calves that underwent the procedures had lower ADG, dry matter intake (DMI) and gain-to-feed ratio (G:F) (p<0.01) at Day 7 than calves that did not undergo the procedures. In Trial 2, a 112-day pasture study using stocker heifers, there were no significant differences at any weigh day (7, 28, 56, 84, 112) between liver-biopsied and non-biopsied groups. Results of the second trial suggest that differences seen in Trial 1 at Day 7 could have been related to other procedures performed concurrently (ruminocentesis, orogastric intubation), rather than the liver biopsy itself. In both studies, percutaneous liver biopsy was a relatively safe and effective procedure with minimal complications.




How to Cite

Rogers, G. M., Capucille, D. J., Poore, M. H., Maas, J., & Smallwood, J. E. (2001). Growth performance of cattle following percutaneous liver biopsy utilizing a Schackelford-Courtney biopsy instrument. The Bovine Practitioner, 35(2), 177–184.