Left displacement of the abomasum (LDA) is an important periparturient disorder of dairy cows. This study evaluated differences in metabolic parameters between case-control pairs of cows (n=67) from 24 farms, and related these to outcomes in fertility and production. Cows with an assisted delivery were ×3 more likely to develop LDA, and affected cows tended to have had a longer dry period. At recruitment, cows with LDA tended to be in lower body condition accompanied by significantly higher circulating concentrations of β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) and glucose and lower IGF1. Overall culling rate for all cows in the subsequent lactation was 22.5 per cent. Cows with LDA were not at increased odds of being culled but they produced, on average, 2272 l less milk and tended to have longer intervals to conception. Considering all cows irrespective of LDA status, the mean IGF1 level at recruitment was the only measured parameter associated with subsequent risk of culling (culled 11.7 ng/ml, not culled 23.5 ng/ml; P=0.005). Our findings support previous work indicating that poor insulin sensitivity through an uncoupling of the somatotrophic axis may be an important factor associated with LDA. Improved nutritional management of dry cows should reduce the incidence of both LDA and culling.
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