COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – an update for our clients.

Subclinical milk fever

January 17, 2022

Clinical milk fever is typically; cold ears, swan-shape neck, animal unable to stand/rise, but these cases are only the “tip of the iceberg”. For every clinical case of milk fever, there will be a further number of animals with subclinical milk fever. These animals don’t have outward signs but are still affected with a low blood calcium level.

Recent research shows that cows with reduced blood calcium levels have an increased risk of transition cow diseases such as metritis and LDAs, as well as reduced fertility and older cows tend to lie down for longer and have lower step counts after calving. Blood samples can be taken to check and monitor for low blood calcium. These need to be taken from cows within 48 hours of calving. But “prevention is better than cure”.

Strategies for control include:
• Calcium restriction in late pregnancy
• DCAB diets; reducing the use of high potassium (potash) forages like grass silage and supplementing with magnesium chloride
• Calcium boluses or drenches

Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information on subclinical milk fever.

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