Uterine Torsion in relation to blood calcium concentration in dairy cattle
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An important reason for dystocia in cattle during parturition is a uterine torsion. When a uterine torsion is present, there is a rotation of the uterus around the longitudinal axis. For every animal calcium homeostasis is of great importance. The blood calcium concentration of cows is between the 2,3 and 3,2 mmol/L. During parturition the calcium concentration of the blood decreases. Research will be conducted to test whether hypocalcaemia can be related to the etiology of a uterine torsion. Various veterinary practices in the Netherlands have collected blood samples for this study. When a cow with uterine torsion is noticed, a blood sample from the jugular vene or the median caudal vene will be taken by the local practitioner. In this sample the calcium level will be measured by the practitioner. A blood sample was also collected for the control cow, this is the first pregnant cow on the same farm that will give birth a short period of time after having taken the blood sample. A major finding of the study is that cows with a uterine torsion have significant (p=0,05) lower calcium concentrations of 1,92 ± 0,35 mmol/L compared with the control cows of 2,21 ± 0,20 mmol/L. To conclude, in this study lower blood calcium concentrations in animals with a uterine torsion compared to control animals is found. However, based on this study the relationship with a uterine torsion is difficult to explain. There are several reasons for the calcium concentration to be low in cows with a uterine torsion. During parturition, cows experience stress, high oestrogen concentrations and a reduced feed intake. Maybe the calcium concentration around parturition from this study must be adapted. Based on our study normal blood calcium concentrations in cows around parturition could be set to 1,81 – 2,61 mmol/L.