Objective—To determine risk factors associated with identification of an umbilical hernia during the first 2 months after birth in Holstein heifers.
Animals—322 Holstein heifers born in a single herd (45 with an umbilical hernia and 277 without).
Procedure—Risk factors that were examined included sire, whether the dam had a history of umbilical hernia, milk yield, duration of gestation, whether the dam had a history of dystocia, whether the heifer had a twin, birth weight, total serum protein concentration, and whether the heifer had an umbilical infection. Logistic regression was used to analyze risk factors.
Results—Heifers born to sires with ≥ 3 progeny with an umbilical hernia were 2.31 times as likely to develop an umbilical hernia as were heifers born to sires with ≤ 2 progeny with an umbilical hernia. Heifers with umbilical infection were 5.65 times as likely to develop an umbilical hernia as were heifers without umbilical infection.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Sire and umbilical infection were associated with risk of an umbilical hernia during the first 2 months of life in Holstein heifers. Attributable proportion analysis indicated that the frequency of umbilical hernias in Holstein heifers with umbilical infection would have been reduced by 82% if umbilical infection had been prevented. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1487–1490)