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Association between β-hydroxybutyrate concentration at surgery for correction of left-displaced abomasum in dairy cows and removal from the herd after surgery

William S. Croushore Jr DVM1, Paula A. Ospina DVM, MPH, PhD2, David C. Welch VMD, MBA3, Daniel J. Zawisza VMD4, and Daryl V. Nydam DVM, PhD5
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  • 1 White Oak Veterinary Clinic, PC, 7631 Glades Pike, Berlin, PA 15530.
  • | 2 Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 3 White Oak Veterinary Clinic, PC, 7631 Glades Pike, Berlin, PA 15530.
  • | 4 White Oak Veterinary Clinic, PC, 7631 Glades Pike, Berlin, PA 15530.
  • | 5 Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Abstract

Objective—To estimate the sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, and predictive values of blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations in dairy cows immediately prior to surgical correction of left-displaced abomasum (LDA) for determining associations between BHB concentration and removal from the herd ≤ 30 days after surgery and to evaluate postsurgical risk of removal for cows with the BHB concentration that had highest sensitivity and specificity for predicting this outcome.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—136 dairy cows with LDA diagnosed between 5 and 30 days in lactation (ie, days in milk).

Procedures—Blood BHB concentration was measured immediately prior to surgery. All cows underwent surgical correction of LDA while standing. Follow-up information was obtained ≥ 30 days after surgery. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to estimate a critical threshold value for BHB concentration that was associated with removal from the herd, and this value was used in Poisson regression to estimate risk ratio for the same outcome.

Results—While controlling for parity in the model, cows with a BHB concentration < 1.2 mmol/L at the time of LDA surgery were 2.5 times as likely (95% confidence interval, 1.3 to 5.0) to be removed from the herd ≤ 30 days after surgery, compared with cows that had a BHB concentration ≥ 1.2 mmol/L.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that blood BHB concentration in dairy cows undergoing surgical correction of LDA may potentially be a useful prognostic indicator for the likelihood of removal from the herd ≤ 30 days after surgery. Further research is needed to evaluate other risk factors that may be associated with this outcome.

Abstract

Objective—To estimate the sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, and predictive values of blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations in dairy cows immediately prior to surgical correction of left-displaced abomasum (LDA) for determining associations between BHB concentration and removal from the herd ≤ 30 days after surgery and to evaluate postsurgical risk of removal for cows with the BHB concentration that had highest sensitivity and specificity for predicting this outcome.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—136 dairy cows with LDA diagnosed between 5 and 30 days in lactation (ie, days in milk).

Procedures—Blood BHB concentration was measured immediately prior to surgery. All cows underwent surgical correction of LDA while standing. Follow-up information was obtained ≥ 30 days after surgery. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to estimate a critical threshold value for BHB concentration that was associated with removal from the herd, and this value was used in Poisson regression to estimate risk ratio for the same outcome.

Results—While controlling for parity in the model, cows with a BHB concentration < 1.2 mmol/L at the time of LDA surgery were 2.5 times as likely (95% confidence interval, 1.3 to 5.0) to be removed from the herd ≤ 30 days after surgery, compared with cows that had a BHB concentration ≥ 1.2 mmol/L.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that blood BHB concentration in dairy cows undergoing surgical correction of LDA may potentially be a useful prognostic indicator for the likelihood of removal from the herd ≤ 30 days after surgery. Further research is needed to evaluate other risk factors that may be associated with this outcome.

Contributor Notes

Presented in abstract form at the 45th Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Montreal, September 2012.

The authors thank Lori Ling and Jenny Coleman for assistance with raw data entry and maintenance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Nydam (dvn2@cornell.edu).