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Tschoner, T. S.; Zablotski, Y.; Knubben-Schweizer, G. and Feist, M. (2020): Effect of xylazine administration before laparoscopic abomasopexy to correct left displaced abomasum on markers of stress in dairy cows. In: Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 103, No. 10: pp. 9318-9331

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Left displacement of the abomasum in dairy cows is a disease diagnosed all over the world. In Germany, a common method for its correction is laparoscopic aborriasopexy (LA). The aim of the study was to assess cortisol and substance P concentrations, behavioral patterns, and feeding and rumination times during and after LA in cattle treated with xylazine before LA compared with nonsedated cattle. A total of 28 cattle that had been referred to a veterinary teaching hospital with a diagnosis of left displacement of the abomasum were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups. Surgery was performed according to a standardized protocol. Animals of XYL (n = 14) received xylazine (0.02 mg/kg body weight i.v.) before surgery, and animals of CON (n = 14) received a placebo (0.9% saline i.v.). All cows received ketoprofen (3 mg/kg body weight i.v.) twice, arid benzyl penicillin procaine (20,000 Ili/kg body weight i.m.) for 5 +/- 1 d. Blood samples for the determination of plasma cortisol concentration (PCC) and plasma substance P concentration were taken 3 h before surgery (+00:00), at 1100 h (+03:00), 1115 h (+03:15, skin incision), 1130 h (+03:30), 1145 h (+03:45, dorsal recumbency), 1200 h (+04:00, end of surgery), 1230 h (+04:30), 1300 II (+05:00), 1400 II (+06:00), arid 1100 h (+27:00) the following day. Behavior was assessed on the day of surgery and the following day (0800, 1300, and 1700 h), and during surgery. Feeding and rumination time were recorded for 24 h after surgery. Data analysis was done using R (R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria). The LA was performed in all animals without negative effects. The PCC was lower in XYL than in CON at all times arid significantly lower at +03:30. In CON, PCC was significantly higher at +03:45, +04:00, and +04:30 compared with +03:00. In XYL, PCC was significantly lower at +03:15 and +03:30 compared with +03:00, and significantly higher at +04:00 and +04:30. Plasma substance P concentration did riot differ between groups. No differences were observed in behavior between CON and XYL. Feeding and rumination times did not differ between groups. Animals in XYL showed significantly more chews per bolus after surgery than animals in CON. In conclusion, administration of xylazine before LA results in lower stress levels for cattle during the course of LA, especially before being put into lateral and dorsal recumbency. Therefore, in the opinion of the authors, xylazine administration can be recommended before LA to improve the well-being of the animals during and after surgery.

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