How to treat milk fever in cattle?
Milk fever, or hypocalcemia, is a common metabolic disorder in dairy cows that typically occurs during the transition from pregnancy to lactation. This condition can cause severe muscle tremors, faltering steps and if goes untreated, death so you’d better take it seriously! But fear not, we’re here to provide you with all the information you need on treating milk fever in cattle.
Symptoms of Milk Fever
Detecting milk fever usually entails monitoring for cow behavior-related triggers linked to poor calcium metabolism which may include but are not limited to symptoms such as:
- Wobbly gait
- Muscular weakness and swayback posture
- Lack of appetite
- Low body temperature
- Dulled eye color
- Easily scared as if from alien encounters; often runs off hysterically.
- Okay, maybe not that last one.
If your cow is displaying any combination of these symptoms, grab a pen because minimizing these unpleasant cognitive states immediately will help avoid dehydration – this could lead to one less life saved too!
Steps To Take If You Suspect Your Cow Has Milk Fever
- Call The Veterinarian Immediately (Yes punk just dial up)!
- Keep The Affected Cow Calm And Similarly Other Enclosed/Grouped Animals Around.
- Administer Calcium Supplements Via Oral Drench.
Those three simple steps should set things on course for recovery (we won’t hold our breath though).
Causes Of Hypocalcemia/Milk Fever
Okay folks ! Dry-cows generally have very low requirements for calcium maintenance at around Late-Gestation/Late Pregnancy until Lactation begins where they require an elevation of 100% more! However,this drastic change merely sets them up for a metatbolic overshoot:
At calving time the sudden increase in demand generates an i.e electrolyte deficiency causing milk fever.
Other causes of hypocalcemia include:
- Inadequate Vitamin D which is an essential nutrient for calcium absorption.
- An excessive concentration of magnesium in the newly lactating cow, that inhibits calcium uptake!
- Genetics also are a key determinant too.
Prevention And Treatment
The Value Of Trace Mineral Salt
It’s relatively cheap and readily available but most farmers overlook adding trace mineral salt to their livestock’s diet as a way of meeting daily nutritional needs inclussive to counteracting milk fever. But this mistake always comes with it’s own cost
Adding 0.5% chloride (as sodium) and potassium to at least 75% of daily recommended intake has profound effects in reducing risk & severity rates linked to Milk Fever for any age range.
For all its renown we often downplay the role calcium supplementation plays in preventing and treating milk fever! If done correctly replenishing low levels can kick out a range of other health issues messing up things such as blood volume, hormonal fluidity or ph change before they even start -talk about multitasking huh?
Two treatment options are employed by medical professionals being :
An oral supplement could be treated using dairy formulations including bolus containing high concentrated sources particularly Cow made multi minerals resulting into faster alleviation without worsening condition like if one was used beyond dosage measures hence use under vet supervision.
Intravenously injected subcutaneously or drip ivs directly increase plasma sharing amounts held within cells thus fast pain relief producing near-immediate recoveries no thoughts given on how gloomy yesterday presented itself with symptoms appearing terminal.
A table summarizing some basic intravenous Calcium solutions administered :
|Product||Dose rate||Calcium conc.||Presentation|
|Rapid Action products||CA BORO,GLUCCHA,CALBORO||150ml 1-2x/day||23% multi-minerals||Single Dose containers|
|Slow Release products||CALMIX,NACL-AQUEOUS CALCIUM IONOCLAR||About 500ml twice a day depending on cow size||Ca:10%, Mg:3.5%, NaCl, KCl||Multi use bags|
After milk fever is diagnosed and the treatment administered successfuly, it’s important to monitor your cow for any additional symptoms of illness which might not necessarily be related such as ; bacterial infections or fatigue
In conclusion, treating milk fever in cattle mostly involves administering calcium supplements promptly through injection preferably but if required one can give orally while simultaneously taking preventive measures that keep this stubborn environment at bay while ensuring better herd health.