Help for treating milk fever

"Treatment and Prevention of Hypocalcemia (Milk Fever)" is the latest episode in the Purdue "Dairy Digest" podcast series.

During the podcast, Amy Nooyen, a Purdue University veterinary student, talks about successful treatment of milk fever.

"Stage one milk fever, when the cow is still standing, is commonly treated with oral calcium gel or boluses, or calcium gluconate under the skin," Nooyen explains. "Stages two and three, when cows are down, are considered (to be) more serious and typically require intravenous calcium gluconate administered slowly in the jugular vein. When administering calcium in the vein, it is important to give the solution over 10 to 20 minutes while listening for sudden changes in the heart rate. If calcium is given too quickly, it can cause a decrease in heart rate that may lead to death. In addition, calcium gluconate may be given under the skin to allow for slower release of calcium in the body."

Treatment is successful if the cow stands within 20 minutes and urinates or belches as muscle function returns, Nooyen says.

Oral calcium gels or boluses can be given to cows as they calve as a preventative measure.

In a previous episode, Nooyen talks about the causes of hypocalcemia. Learn more in episodes #160 "Causes of Hypocalcemia (Milk Fever)" and #161 "Treatment and Prevention of Hypocalcemia (Milk Fever)" here.

Source: Purdue Dairy Digest