Drench-Mate has partnered with Horiba to provide a new meter for hypocalcemia, which is characterized by decrease in blood calcium below a normal level and is one of the most common disorders affecting dairy cows at the onset of lactation.
Among the three forms of calcium in blood, ionized calcium (iCa) is the most physiologically active.
To help dairy farmers and veterinarians measure iCa in a cow’s blood samples in real time, immediately after collection, Drench-Mate has introduced the Horiba LAQUAtwin Ca-11C – Cal-Meter Bovine Blood Calcium Meter equipped with a replaceable calcium sensor.
This easy-to-use device allows for the early detection of subclinical hypocalcemia in cows. With its low cost and rapid blood iCa analysis, the meter is ideal for individual animal and herd-level monitoring on farms.
Calibrate the Cal-Meter (LAQUAtwin Ca-11C) using the 1.25 mmol/L and 2.50 mmol/L ionized calcium (Ca2+) standard solutions that come with the meter according to the instruction manual.
The composition of the standard solutions is similar to the electrolyte composition of blood. To minimize error in the measurement, the standard solutions and sample should be at the same temperature.
Sample Collection and Preparation
1. Collect blood sample from clean tail vein or neck jugular vein of cow into a blood collection tube that contains lithium heparin anticoagulant. Note: Blood collection tubes containing other anticoagulants may adversely affect the reading.
2. Take the temperature of the blood sample using a non-contact infrared thermometer. Wait for the sample temperature to fall in the range 20 to 25°C.
3. Place drops of blood sample onto the sensor and close the sensor cover. Wait for the reading to stabilize.
4. Record the calcium concentration.
5. Immediately after measuring the blood sample, wash the sensor with cleaning solution 251, which contains proteolytic enzyme that removes protein-based stains.