Use of a plastic-coated catheter for transtracheal wash in 37 dairy calves affected by respiratory disease complex

Keywords: Bovine respiratory disease, Calves, Diagnostic techniques, Transtracheal wash


This brief communication describes a transtracheal wash (TTW) technique used in calves affected by respiratory disease. A venous catheter with a plastic-coated sheath (Cavafix® Certo) is used, which means that the device that penetrates the tracheal lumen never comes into direct contact with both human operator and external environment. We performed 37 TTWs. The procedure was always well tolerated and enabled us to isolate the pathogenic microorganisms in 81% of cases. In seven calves treated with antimicrobials, microbiological assays were associated with the complete sterility of the washing liquid. Transtracheal wash with Cavafix® Certo is a simple and effective technique that helps to maintain sterility during the procedure.