cow can't shake milk fevergreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
My holstein jersey cross cow calved yesterday morning, and in the evening she was down with milk fever. Had the vet out last night and he gave her two bottles of calcium gluconate, and a tube of paste to give her in the morning. Well this afternoon she was down again and this time my neighbor came and gave her two more bottles. She is up and grazing and drinking now but I am just waiting for tomorrow for her to do it again. How long will this last? any suggestions to what else I can do keep her from going down again? Thanks in advance. Cara Lewis Moomaine@hotmail.com
-- cara lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 15, 2001
After that much Ca in her, she ought to be fine. Of course, I would have said that after the first two bottles, too . . . But I would think even a Jersey, which is a breed known to be susceptible to milk fever, would be alright after that much Ca, and after this much time going by from freshening. Are you taking out much milk? A cow develops milk fever because their parathyroid glands aren't switching over from a non-lactating state to a lactating one fast enough. The parathyroids control blood Ca in the body. So if you take out too much milk too fast, you take too much Ca away from the cow, and bingo, milk fever. I never fully milk out a Holstein before the third milking, and the first one or maybe two milkings are usually just enough to take the pressure off the udder and to feed the calf. Jersey's are touchy enough about milk fever that maybe you should be more careful yet. Anyone out there with more Jersey experience?
-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (email@example.com), June 15, 2001.
We used to milk mostly Jerseys up until about 1995. To avoid milk fever in the Jerseys we routinely cut some of the calcium during the dry period so the calcium wouldn't be socked down in hard bone difficult to access after calving. In other words we didn't feed a milking ration to the dry cows, substituting a little ground corn and oats without the dairy concentrate. Six weeks prior to calving we gave A and D shots and again just prior to calving. This also tends to move the calcium from hard bone deposits to the soft bone trabeculae in the body where it more easily can be pulled into the blood stream. We made sure the vitamin E and selenium levels were always optimal in the ration as this can exacerbate the tendency for milk fever.Then, as the above person said, don't strip her out completely the first couple of times you milk so you keep a little pressure in the bag and she doesn't have to pull on her calcium stores so hard until she has managed to catch her breath from calving. Hope this helps. You might also want to top her post calving feed with a little molasses so she doesn't tend to get a little ketotic those first few days until she starts eating more. Quite often milk fever and ketosis go hand in hand.
-- Sandra Nelson (Magin @ starband.net), June 16, 2001.