New HORIBA LAQUAtwin Ca-11C Bovine Blood iCa Pocket Meter Provides a Cost-Effective Solution for Rapid Ionised Calcium Measurement
Sep 06 2020
One of the most common disorders affecting dairy cows at the onset of lactation is hypocalcemia. It is characterised by decrease in blood calcium below normal level that may lead to lower milk production, higher incidence of metabolic disease, and poorer reproductive performance. Clinical hypocalcemia, also known as milk fever, is a severe hypocalcemia which is categorised by the severity of symptoms. Subclinical hypocalcemia, on the other hand, does not show clinical symptoms. Thus, many dairy cows suffering from it often go undetected until the condition progressed to clinical hypocalcemia. Screening dairy cows for early detection of hypocalcemia followed by proper diagnosis and immediate administration of treatment can result in fast health recovery and less economic cost.
Calcium is an important mineral in blood clotting, bone growth, nerve transmission, muscle contraction, and milk production to name a few. Among the three forms of calcium in blood, the ionised calcium (iCa) is the physiologically active. Dairy cows experiencing subclinical hypocalcemia look normal but can be identified by analysing their blood for ionised calcium concentration within the first 1 - 2 days after calving. To support dairy farmers and veterinarians efficiently accomplish this on-farm, HORIBA developed and introduced the LAQUAtwin Ca-11C bovine blood iCa pocket meter, the latest addition to the popular LAQUAtwin Series. It is ideal for individual animal and herd level monitoring.
HORIBA’s state-of-the-art sensor technology has been employed in the design and construction of miniaturised flat calcium ion selective sensor that accepts as little as 0.3 ml sample. The LAQUAtwin Ca-11C bovine blood iCa pocket meter measures the ionised calcium in sample, either whole blood or serum, in just few seconds and displays reading in mmol/L unit, which can be easily recognised as stable once the smiley indicator stops blinking during measurement. The compact meter has IP67 water and dustproof housing, backlit digital LCD display, and replaceable unique sensor. It is packaged in a rugged carrying case together with two calibration solutions having electrolyte composition similar to blood, sensor cleaning solution containing proteolytic enzyme that removes protein-based residues, and wash bottle. With this complete meter kit, iCa measurements can be conveniently carried out anywhere in the field at any time.
Compared to commercially-available blood gas analysers, the LAQUAtwin Ca-11C bovine blood iCa pocket meter is easier to operate and costs a fraction of their prices. As the meter is intended for field use, blood drawn from a cow into a collection tube containing lithium heparin anticoagulant can be analysed immediately without affecting the sample integrity and compromising the result which might happen when transported. Having the cost, operation, and analysis time advantages, the meter can serve as screening device for hypocalcemia by providing blood iCa concentrations cow-side that can aid dairy farmers and veterinarians in making decision for further testing in line with their diagnostic process.
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