Document Detail

Conceptual modeling of postmortem evaluation findings to describe dairy cow deaths.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20059936     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Dairy cow mortality levels in the United States are excessive and increasing over time. To better define cause and effect and combat rising mortality, clearer definitions of the reasons that cows die need to be acquired through thorough necropsy-based postmortem evaluations. The current study focused on organizing information generated from postmortem evaluations into a monitoring system that is based on the fundamentals of conceptual modeling and that will potentially be translatable into on-farm relational databases. This observational study was conducted on 3 high-producing, commercial dairies in northern Colorado. Throughout the study period a thorough postmortem evaluation was performed by veterinarians on cows that died on each dairy. Postmortem data included necropsy findings, life-history features (e.g., birth date, lactation number, lactational and reproductive status), clinical history and treatments, and pertinent aspects of operational management that were subject to change and considered integral to the poor outcome. During this study, 174 postmortem evaluations were performed. Postmortem evaluation results were conceptually modeled to view each death within the context of the web of factors influencing the dairy and the cow. Categories were formulated describing mortality in terms of functional characteristics potentially amenable to easy performance evaluation, management oversight, and research. In total, 21 death categories with 7 category themes were created. Themes included specific disease processes with variable etiologies, failure of disease recognition or treatment, traumatic events, multifactorial failures linked to transition or negative energy balance issues, problems with feed management, miscellaneous events not amenable to prevention or treatment, and undetermined causes. Although postmortem evaluations provide the relevant information necessary for framing a cow's death, a restructuring of on-farm databases is needed to integrate this level of detail into useful monitoring systems. Individual operations can focus on combating mortality through the use of employee training related to postmortem evaluations, detailed forms for capturing necropsy particulars and other relevant information related to deaths, and standardized nomenclature and categorization schemes. As much as anything, the simple act of recognizing mortality as a problem might be the most fundamental step toward controlling its progression.
C S McConnel; F B Garry; A E Hill; J E Lombard; D H Gould
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of dairy science     Volume:  93     ISSN:  1525-3198     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Dairy Sci.     Publication Date:  2010 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-01-11     Completed Date:  2010-04-19     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985126R     Medline TA:  J Dairy Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  373-86     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2010 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Integrated Livestock Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cattle Diseases / mortality*,  pathology*
Dairying / methods*
Models, Biological*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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