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Objective—To determine the correlation between insulin concentrations and myoelectrical activity of the abomasum in cows with a left displaced abomasum (LDA).

Animals—14 dairy cows with an LDA at the onset of lactation.

Procedure—During surgical correction of an LDA, 3 pairs of electrodes were placed in the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract (abomasal body, pars pylorica, and duodenum) of each cow. Electromyographic recordings were obtained once per day for 7 days. Samples were collected and tested to determine concentrations of insulin, glucagon, cortisol, glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate, and nonesterified fatty acids.

Results—All 14 cattle had high glucose and insulin concentrations at the time of admission, independent of ketosis. Concentrations of glucose and insulin decreased slowly after surgical treatment and were associated with a progressive increase in abomasoduodenal myoelectric activity. The 14 cows were allocated into 2 groups (suspected insulinresistant cattle, n = 7; suspected non–insulin-resistant cattle, 7) on the basis of persistent hyperinsulinemia during the postoperative period. Seven days after surgery, the abomasoduodenal myoelectric patterns were still significantly lower for the insulinresistant cows, compared with patterns for the non–insulin-resistant cows.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Insulin resistance appears to be common in cows with an LDA. Analysis of results of this study reveals that abomasal atony in cows with an LDA depends on persistence of high serum concentrations of insulin. Results of this study could provide an explanation for a pathogenetic factor of LDAs and the frequent relapses of cattle affected by this condition. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1319–1324)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To compare the effectiveness of an ultrasound-guided paravertebral nerve blockade technique (UGPNB) with distal and proximal paravertebral nerve blockade techniques without ultrasound guidance (DPNB and PPNB, respectively) in calves.

ANIMALS 4 calf cadavers and 7 healthy calves.

PROCEDURES A suitable acoustic window was identified to facilitate access to the T13, L1, and L2 spinal nerves in cadavers and live calves. In cadavers, nerves were injected with dye under ultrasound guidance. In calves, the UGPNB, DPNB, and PPNB were performed in random order at 10-day intervals by injection of an anesthetic solution containing 2% lidocaine hydrochloride. Nociceptive withdrawal responses were assessed to determine the effects of the blockades.

RESULTS In cadavers, nerve staining success rates (ie, ≥ 2-cm-long dye path) achieved with ultrasound guidance were 88% (T13 [ventral branch]), 75% (T13 and L1 [dorsal branches] and L1 and L2 [ventral branches]), and 38% (L2 [dorsal branch]). The nerves were each identified as a hyperechoic band in a longitudinal plane. In calves, the UGPNB, DPNB, and PPNB reduced the withdrawal response to the noxious stimulus, mainly in the dorsal-cranial, dorsal-caudal, and ventral-cranial areas of the flank. Overall, the UGPNB resulted in a better nociceptive cumulative score, administering only one half of the local anaesthetic dose, compared with findings for the DPNB and PPNB. However, time to perform the UGPNB was longer.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The UGPNB evaluated may be an improved alternative to the DPNB and PPNB for provision of anesthesia for flank surgery in calves. However, effectiveness of the UGPNB should be evaluated in a clinical setting and in adult cattle.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research