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The objective of this study was to compare the clinical and laboratory consequences of left and right displacement of the abomasum (LDA and RDA), short- and long-term survival after surgery and the findings in cows, that could not be cured by omentopexy. Data from 564 cases of displaced abomasum (466 LDA, 98 RDA) were analysed retrospectively. Clinical and laboratory findings were compared between the two manifestations of DA. Survival was assessed after 10 days and after 15 months. Necropsy was carried out on cows that died or were killed. On arrival at the clinic, left displacement of the abomasum (LDA) cows had been recognized as diseased for longer. LDA occurred earlier in lactation, and more cows with right displacement of the abomasum (RDA) were pregnant. Overall clinical symptoms were more severe in RDA than in LDA cows. Heart rate was higher, body temperature was lower, inanition, abnormal faeces and ruminal stasis were more frequent in RDA cows. Leucocyte counts were higher, and potassium and chloride levels were lower in RDA cows. Acetonuria was more frequent in LDA cows. More LDA than RDA cows were released from the clinic as cured (82.0% versus 74.5%). However, survival after the early post-surgical period was similar for RDA and LDA cows. At necropsy, diseases of the gastrointestinal system were the predominant finding in RDA cows, while in LDA cows, diseases of the liver and other concurrent diseases were more important.