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Changes in the feed intake, pH and osmolality of rumen fluid, and the position of the abomasum of eight dairy cows during a dietinduced left displacement of the abomasum
  1. S. C. L. Van Winden, DVM, MSc, PhD,
  2. K. E. Muller, DVM, PhD,
  3. J. P. T. M. Noordhuizen, DVM, PhD1,
  4. J. Th. Schonewille, BSc, PhD,
  5. A. C. Beynen, MSc, PhD2 and
  6. C. R. Brattinga, DVM, MSc3
  1. 1 Department of Farm Animal Health
  2. 2 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 7, 3584 CL Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Department of Animal Sciences, Animal Husbandry Group, Wageningen University, PO Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands


During the last six weeks of the dry period, eight Holstein-Friesian cows were fed a restricted amount of grass silage; after calving, a mixture of maize silage and concentrates was offered in a feeding regimen designed to induce a displacement of the abomasum. In the first month after calving, the cows were monitored for the following variables: feed intake and composition, milk production, the position of the abomasum, and the pH and osmolality of the rumen contents. In five of the eight cows, a left displacement of the abomasum occurred between four and 21 days after calving in the absence of other diseases. The displacement was temporary, lasting between five and 36 consecutive hours and one or two days in two of the cows (floaters), and for three or more days in the other three. Before these three cows developed the displacement, their abomasum was 4.3 to 7.9 cm higher, its contents had a higher mean osmolality (+19.2 mosmol/kg), and the ratio of roughage to concentrates in their feed was lower (−0.87) than in the three cows that did not develop clinical signs of a displaced abomasum. There were no significant differences in these variables between the floaters and the healthy cows.

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