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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1991 Oct 1;199(7):892-8.

Prognostic value of surgical and postoperative findings in cattle with abomasal volvulus.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210.


A prospective study evaluating the prognostic value of surgical and postoperative findings in 80 cattle with abomasal volvulus was performed. Surgical correction of abomasal volvulus was performed in all animals. After surgery, cattle were categorized into 3 groups: productive (acceptable milk production or appetite, n = 59), salvaged (poor milk production or appetite, n = 10), and nonsurvivors (n = 11). Cattle with omasal-abomasal volvulus had a significantly (P less than 0.005) worse prognosis than cattle without omasal involvement. Large abomasal fluid volume, venous thrombosis, and blue or black abomasal color before decompression were all indicative of a poor prognosis. Most cattle had poor or fair appetites the first day after surgery; productive animals had marked improvement in appetite over the next 3 days. All cattle observed to have a good appetite within 3 days after surgery were later determined to be productive animals. The heart rate decreased in all groups after surgery; however, tachycardia (heart rate greater than 80 beats/min) was sustained in cattle that were later salvaged for slaughter. Diarrhea was observed after surgery in 54% of cattle. The duration of diarrhea was significantly shorter (P = 0.009) in productive cattle than in salvaged and nonsurviving cattle. The presence or absence of diarrhea was only of predictive value when considered in conjunction with the estimated abomasal fluid volume.

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