Milk Fever / Hypocalcemia
Milk Fever, also known as Hypocalcemia or Parturient Paresis, is a blood calcium deficiency which occurs predominantly dairy does just before and just after kidding.
Symptoms of milk fever, or Hypocalcemia, include weakness in hind quarters, back feet dragging, constipation and inability to withstand normal labor.
Causes: Excessive calcium intake that exceeds her needs and the needs of her unborn kids, often through the excessive consumption of alfalfa products. Then when milk production begins the demand for calcium that would normally be met by bone calcium is blocked by a hormone that hinders the natural release. This forces the depletion of blood calcium and milk fever results.
Treatment: The most effective treatment is the administration of an IV calcium supplement, but this requires veterinary assistance because constant heart monitoring is necessary. There may also be other complications such as retained placenta, enterotoxemia and mastitis. All these considerations should be addressed by a health care professional.
More information on Milk Fever / Hypocalcemia:
- University of Maryland Extension: sheepandgoat.com: Milk Fever Strikes
- Merck Veterinary Manual: Parturient Paresis in Sheep and Goats
Supplies For Treatment and Prevention: