Serum ionized calcium concentration in clinically normal dairy cattle, and changes associated with calcium abnormalities

S D Lincoln, V M Lane
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 1990 December 1, 197 (11): 1471-4
Serum ionized calcium (ICa) concentration was determined in 141 clinically normal dairy cattle by use of a direct-measuring calcium ion-selective electrode instrument. Mean serum ICa concentration 2 hours after blood withdrawal was 4.59 mg/dl; range varied from 3.79 to 5.25 mg/dl. Regression analysis indicated a high degree of correlation between ICa and serum total calcium concentrations if serum stored at 23 C was analyzed within 12 hours after blood withdrawal. Abnormal ICa concentration was detected in 19 of 85 dairy cows that were affected with various pathologic conditions. All 19 cows had hypocalcemia (n = 13 with parturient hypocalcemia, 4 with hypomagnesemic tetany, and 2 with renal disease). In all cases, the ICa concentration clearly related to the clinical manifestation of disease and the functional status of the cow's calcium metabolism.

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