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Displaced abomasum in cattle: evaluation beyond the ping
  1. A. N. Baird, DVM, MS, DACVS
  1. Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, 1248 Lynn Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
  1. e-mail: abaird{at}

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SURGERY of the abomasum appears to be the most common abdominal surgery in dairy practice. Left displacement of the abomasum (LDA) occurs more frequently than abomasal volvulus (AV), but AV is more compromising to the individual cow and leads to more severe disease or even death. It has been reported that some dairy herds experience abomasal displacement in between 15 and 35 per cent of the cows (Trent 1992). LDA is largely a management disease in that it affects cows, most often in the first few weeks of lactation, that are being feed high concentrate diets to stimulate higher milk production. I have had reports from practitioners that management variations, such as abrupt changes in type, quality or time of delivery of feed, can lead to an increase in abomasal displacement. The full economic impact of abomasal displacement includes treatment of concurrent disease (such as metritis, mastitis and ketosis), treatment of the displacement, and loss of milk production. It is often difficult to fully appreciate the cost of the loss of production because, depending on the degree of illness, the decreased milk production may be present throughout the entire lactation.

Abomasal displacement and treatment was reported as early as the 1950s (Trought 1957, Wood and Allison …

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