Blood calcium as a prognostic indicator of left-displaced abomasum postsurgical correction success
Subclinical hypocalcemia, a reduction in blood calcium concentrations without apparent clinical signs of milk fever, occurs in 25 to 50% of early-postpartum dairy cows. Compared to their normocalcemic counterparts, research has shown these cows are at an increased risk of additional early-lactation diseases, including left-displaced abomasum (LDA). However, no work has assessed the association of total calcium (tCa) concentration at the time of LDA correction on subsequent milk yield and survival within the herd. Pending future development of an economical and accurate on-farm test for hypocalcemia, the ability to assess LDA prognosis post-surgical correction based on pre-correction blood tCa concentration is of great interest to practitioners. Therefore, our objective was to determine the association of blood tCa concentration at the time of LDA surgical correction on milk yield and removal from herd in the 60 d post-correction.