Milk Fever Disease In Dairy Animals and Protocols for its Prevention

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The Livestock sector Funds 58.55 percent in the agriculture documented a positive growth of 3.63 percent during 2015-16 associated with 3.99 percent growth during the same period last year. Livestock is an integral part of Agriculture Sector which mostly rural people depend for their livelihood.In Rural Areas, People depend their lives directly on behalf of animals Production, Reproductionincluding Meat, and Milk. There are various metabolic disorders of dairy breeds including Milk fever, Lactation Tetany, Ketosis and post-Parturient Haemoglobinuria.Milk fever is one of the major issues that Co-relates directly with Production, Reproduction & Performance of dairy cattle.

Milk fever is actually not a fever but it is Metabolic disorder in which Calcium & Phosphorus ratio disturb due to dietary deficiency.Our soil has a deficiency of macro and micro minerals including calcium, phosphorus, sodium & potassium as well Copper, Cobalt, Selenium, Iron, and Zinc.So when we use fodder deficient of minerals it will ultimately disturb the mineral profile of blood. Milk fever is a problem of dairy cattle near to calving that is produced due to low calcium level in blood profile. .Normal calcium level of blood is 11mg/dl that falls to 4mg/dl in milk fever.

Clinically milk fever is divided into three stages 1st stage cows show some initial exhilaration or a shiver in muscles of the head and limbs appearance lethargy, muscle fatigue decreases appetite, Ataxia, Agalatia (no milk production), Ruminal Stasis, dry muzzle, staring eyes, cold legs and ears, constipation are noticed. The heart beat becomes weaker and faster. The body temperature falls below normal, it may remain for several hours and during this time animal will response to Calcium therapy. In 2nd stage of milk fever animal unable to stand cow is drowsy, no tetany and flaccid muscles, muzzle dry, skin and periphery cooled, rectal temperature 97-98 F. Ruminal stasis, constipation, and Bloat, main differentiating sign is Turned head toward the Flank.In 3rd stage cow cannot move, pulse cannot be palpated, lateral recombancy stage not raises jugular vein this stage can be recovered with emergency situations by Calcium borogluconate 25%  therapy by injecting intravenous route.

Protocols for Prevention

No doubt Calcium borogluconate therapy is drug of choice for milk fever but major drawback of Calcium therapy will lead to heart arrest and animal will die Sometimes at spot. Milfone C 300-450ml mixing 1000ml 5% glucose solution intravenously,10ml Vitamin AD3E,20ml cyanocobalamin,15ml Meprim by intramuscular Route. Dicalcium Phosphate 1kg and Vitominral- T 1kg mix properly and given to cow 100gm morning as well evening per orally.

Due to excess or inappropriate method of injecting Calcium into the body or giving infusion in direct sunlight separately or with a combination of some drugs such as injection Hepasel (for constipation ) injection oxytetracycline (Antibiotic) will directly react with Calcium in animal body to lead reaction to cause death of animal.

Hence to avoid such threats one should adopt preventive measures to decrease risk of milk fever in dairy cow.So we should be aware of such types of cattle breeds that are high producers having more risk of milk fever about 40% to 60% of cases occur within 12 to 24 hours of calving because most of Colostrum is milked by Milker from rudder leads to increase chance of milk fever. Hence one should be careful in selecting the cow breeds in order to avoid milk fever which includes indigenous, Sahiwal and cross breed that is more prone to milk fever.

Nutritional feeding to dairy cow is much important before two weeks of parturition because it mainly disturbs the Calcium level of blood in body of animal by disturbing the metabolism of Feed having high quantity of Calcium than requirement will hinder the absorbability of intestine and skeleton of bone as well as that lead to increased chance of milk fever. Hence Thin Cow having a high chance of milk fever than fatty one. Normally Calcium to Phosphorus ratio in blood is 1:2. So we need to feed Calcium, phosphorus Balance diet.Where dietary management is inadequate, other methods are sometimes used. Vitamin D3 given by injection 2-8 days before calving may be useful in absorbance of Calcium injection Vitamin AD3E 50ml (20ml+15ml+15ml) for three days.Avoid vitamin D3 during lactation or dry period because it Captivatemore Calcium to lead milk fever. To decrease chance of milk fever one should milk 2nd to 3rd part of colostrum (first few days milk)from udder in order to avoid serious Calcium level fall in colostrum because colostrum is a rich source of Calcium.Calcium chloride can be used within 24 hours of parturition this can minimize chance of milk fever with 150gm dose.

So animal during their peak production 3rd to 4th lactation is commonly affected by milk fever. Maximum chance is there during 12 hours to 24 hours of partutationa(Act of giving young one of cow) and occasionally after 6 to 8 weeks of parturition .So we should manage the metabolic disorder by consulting dairy experts or keeping above some points in mind rather than cure that leads to waste of economic, time and results in poor performance including health ,Production(decrease milk ),Reproduction (dystocia, loss of Uterine tone, delay involution of Uterus lead to increase calving interval ) that is a Serious loss to a dairy farmer.

This article is collectively authored by Dr. Rashid Fayaz, Dr. Asghar Abbas, Dr. Rao Zahid Abbas and Dr. Muhammad Usman.



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