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Effects of management, feeding, and treatment on clinical and biochemical variables in cattle with displaced abomasum

Lena U. StengärdeDepartment of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skara, PO 234, S-532 23 Skara, Sweden.
Present address is Swedish Animal Health Service, S-532 89 SKARA, Sweden.

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Bo G. PehrsonDepartment of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skara, PO 234, S-532 23 Skara, Sweden.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of management, feeding, and treatment on clinical and biochemical variables in cows with displaced abomasum (DA).

Animals—374 cows that received 470 treatments for DA.

Procedure—Blood and milk samples were obtained from 139 affected cows for analysis; for all cows, clinical data, management, feeding, and treatments were evaluated.

Results—Multiparous cows were more predisposed to DA than primiparous cows were, and Swedish Friesians were more predisposed than Swedish Red and Whites were. Eighty percent of cows had leftsided DA, and 20% had right-sided DA. In > 50% of affected cows, clinical signs appeared just before calving to 2 weeks after calving. Incidence of twin calves and periparturient diseases was significantly higher in affected cows than in the overall Swedish cow population. Content of neutral detergent fiber in the silage was low in herds with DA. Feeding a total mixed ration was a risk factor for DA. Treatment by surgical methods gave a significantly higher recovery rate than nonsurgical methods.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Displaced abomasum is a periparturient nutritional disease. Feeding roughage with low neutral detergent content is a more important causative factor than the amount of concentrates fed at the time of calving. The basic principle for prevention of DA is to maintain good ruminal filling before and at calving. The amount of high-quality roughage fed before and at calving should be kept to a minimum. By changing routines for periparturient feeding, it should be possible to reduce the incidence of DA. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:137–142)

Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of management, feeding, and treatment on clinical and biochemical variables in cows with displaced abomasum (DA).

Animals—374 cows that received 470 treatments for DA.

Procedure—Blood and milk samples were obtained from 139 affected cows for analysis; for all cows, clinical data, management, feeding, and treatments were evaluated.

Results—Multiparous cows were more predisposed to DA than primiparous cows were, and Swedish Friesians were more predisposed than Swedish Red and Whites were. Eighty percent of cows had leftsided DA, and 20% had right-sided DA. In > 50% of affected cows, clinical signs appeared just before calving to 2 weeks after calving. Incidence of twin calves and periparturient diseases was significantly higher in affected cows than in the overall Swedish cow population. Content of neutral detergent fiber in the silage was low in herds with DA. Feeding a total mixed ration was a risk factor for DA. Treatment by surgical methods gave a significantly higher recovery rate than nonsurgical methods.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Displaced abomasum is a periparturient nutritional disease. Feeding roughage with low neutral detergent content is a more important causative factor than the amount of concentrates fed at the time of calving. The basic principle for prevention of DA is to maintain good ruminal filling before and at calving. The amount of high-quality roughage fed before and at calving should be kept to a minimum. By changing routines for periparturient feeding, it should be possible to reduce the incidence of DA. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:137–142)