Get them up, keep them up
A quick return to milking is the aim when treating cows that go down with milk fever, or milk fever complicated by grass staggers or ketosis.
Initial milk fever treatment with an injectable calcium solution is typically fast and immediately effective; however the chance of relapse remains a risk, extending recovery time, increasing labour and reducing milk in the vat.
Relapse affects at least 30-35% of cows offered only first-line treatment.(1)
Once the cow is up and walking following initial treatment, and has regained enough muscle control to swallow normally, orally administered calcium provides a continued level of support. In fact, studies have shown using oral calcium in this way can prevent relapse by up to 60%.(1)
- Thilsing-Hansen T, Jorgensen RJ, Ostergaard S: Milk fever control principles: A review. Actc vet. Scand. 2002, 43, 1-19.