A blood calcium deficiency that occurs in does just before and just after kidding.
Symptoms: 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. 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 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.
Prevention: Lower the intake of calcium during the last 30 days of pregnancy until just before kidding. Eliminating alfalfa from the diet helps. Be sure the grain ration does not have added calcium if alfalfa is not eliminated. If you are able to feed a high quality grass hay you can have a small percentage of added calcium in the ration.
Supplies For Treatment and Prevention:
- Calcium Drench 49E