Milk fever is a common metabolic condition that usually occurs in the week either side of calving. It is caused by a high demand for calcium while a cow adjusts to starting milk production. While more usual in dairy cows it is sometimes seen in beef cattle, especially those that are a Jersey or Friesian crossbred.
Milk fever is most easily treated when detected early. Ready to use formulations of calcium are available for oral use or for injection under the skin or into the vein. Cows left untreated will continue to get worse and eventually die.
You need to contact your Franklin Vets Team if you experience more than one or two cows with milk fever in your beef breeding herd or you have cows that do not respond to treatment. There are several preventative options available that your veterinarian will be able to discuss with you to find the best solution for your breeding cows.
Common signs of milk fever:
- Wobbly or drunken walk
- Lying down and unable to get up
- Lying down with the head to the side and little or no response when you approach.