• Anjali Aggarwal
  • Ramesh Upadhyay


Body temperature in homeotherms is maintained by the thermoregulatory system within 1°C of its normal temperature under ambient conditions that do not impose heat stress. A rise in the core body temperature also increases heat loss by panting and sweating. These responses are physiological strategies to transfer heat from the cow’s body to the environment. In order to maintain homeothermy, an animal must be in thermal equilibrium with its environment, which includes radiation, air temperature, air movement and humidity. The range of temperature within which the animal uses no additional energy to maintain its body temperature is called the thermoneutral zone (TNZ), within which the physiological costs are minimal and productivity is maximum. Temperature–humidity index (THI) is an index for assessment of the potential of an environment to induce heat stress in humans and farm animals. Heat loss via skin is more in cows and heat loss by respiration is higher in buffaloes. This is due to less number of sweat glands in buffaloes. Exposure of the animal to high environmental temperature stimulates the peripheral and core receptors to transmit nerve impulses to the specific centres in the hypothalamus, to help in preventing the rise in body temperature. The specific centres in the hypothalamus are the defensive evaporative and non-evaporative cooling systems, appetite centre and the adaptive mechanisms that cause such reactions. The suppressive impulses due to positive heat gain transmitted to the appetite centre cause a decrease in feed intake; therefore, less substrates become available for enzymatic activities, hormone synthesis and heat production, which help in cooling the body. Among the genetic adaptations that have developed in zebu cattle during its evolution have been the acquisition of genes for thermotolerance. Zebu breeds are better able to regulate body temperature in response to heat stress than are cattle from a variety of Bos taurus breeds of European origin.


Heat Stress Sweat Gland Evaporative Water Loss Sweating Rate Evaporative Heat Loss 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anjali Aggarwal
    • 1
  • Ramesh Upadhyay
    • 1
  1. 1.Dairy Cattle Physiology DivisionNational Dairy Research InstituteKarnalIndia

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