- Occurs due to low calcium level in blood, there is actually no fever. May also cause dystocia, ROP and uterine prolapse.
- Occurs usually within 72 hours of calving. Initial stage is excitability with fine tremors over flank and loins, ear twitching and head bobbing.
- Complete milking during the first 48 hours of calving may precipitate milk fever in some cases.
- The animal is unable to stand up and in later stages become recumbent, first with its neck turned to one side and then laterally. Eye reflex is also lost.
- In last stage the animal becomes unconscious with sub-normal temperature.
- Hypocalcaemia also exists in sub-clinical form with greater risk of the animals developing fever, metritis & ketosis. More losses are thought to occur from this form.
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF MILK FEVER
- Do not feed calcium supplements in excess during late pregnancy.
- Chances of milk fever in prone animals is reduced greatly if given 3-4 doses of oral calcium 12-24 hours before calving to 48 hours post calving, with each dose providing 40-50 g of calcium.
- Anionic salts like ammonium chloride and magnesium sulphate or ammonium sulphate (50-100 g each/day) may be fed during last 3 weeks before calving.
- Contact veterinarian immediately if symptoms are seen, animals respond to therapy instantly.If left untreated, the animal will succumb.
- Some animals may relapse within 24-48 hours and require further treatment.
- An animal should ideally have a urine pH between 6.5-7 near the time of calving. Higher pH indicates increased risk of milk fever.
Timely treatment will save your animal