Surgical Conditions after Calving

At Frontier Veterinary Services, we surgically correct a variety of abdominal problems which can occur after calving. It takes skill and expertise to diagnose these conditions and correct them.

Left Displacement of Abomasum (LDA)

This is a common clinical problem in dairy cattle, usually seen in the first six weeks after calving, most cases occurring in the first three weeks, can rarely occur before calving.

There is a large variation in occurrence from year to year.

Risk factors

  • High yielding, mainly Holstein cows
  • Subclinical hypocalcaemia
  • Large gravid uterus
  • Toxaemic conditions around calving – retained placenta, metritis, mastitis
  • Abomasal ulceration
  • Subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) – cows on lush pasture low in fibre but high in fermentable carbohydrates
  • Imbalance between concentrate and forage feeding in the diet – excessive concentrates -inadequate dietary fibre

Diagnosis is based on history, signalment and clinical examination.

At Frontier Veterinary Services we surgically correct an LDA by doing a right flank omentopexy. This is followed by post operative medical management. All of these cows have electrolyte imbalances, secondary ketosis and possibly subclinical hypocalcemia so these issues must be addressed to optimise recovery.

Right Displaced Abomasum (RDA)

 Cow will be showing same signs as for LDA – not eating, milk drop, ketosis

Right Torsion Abomasum (RTA)

These cows are quite ill and progress quickly to a state of hypovolaemic shock – sunken eyes, fast heart rate, weak.

Caecal Dilatation

Again signs are similar for LDA / RDA – not eating/ milk drop, can be differentiated on clinical examination.

Medical treatment is very successful for the correction of early cases of caecal dilatation.

Surgery is indicated if there is evidence of caecal torsion.

As with DA operations, it is important that concentrate diets are introduced gradually post operatively – little and often.