Cow down because of low calcium

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tom4018

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Found a cow down this week. She was laying down but upright to were you would think everything was ok. Noticed her 2 week old calf butting her to try to get her up for milk. She looked to be in the same spot that she was that morning when I checked cows, never gave it a second thought that morning as several cows were with her.

Anyway called the vet and she thought it was either low calcium or magnesium and gave her an IV treatment plus the oral stuff. She pulled blood to be sure. Got home yesterday to have a message saying it was low calcium. Since I didn't get to talk to her and they are not open today I thought I would ask here.

What else other than free choice mineral can I do? They had mineral out and still feeding hay. I don't feed a lot of grain as we try to let them make it on grass. They get some grain once a week and there is mineral in it. If it makes any difference she is about 12 years old.
 

Bright Raven

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Have your hay tested for trace elements including calcium. If you harvest your hay on your farm, check to see if you need lime which is a primary way to get calcium into your hay. Otherwise, mineral. Make sure it is readily available and good quality. Some minerals have low bioavailability ratings.

TexasBred can give you the best response.
 
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tom4018

tom4018

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Bright Raven":3f8okig2 said:
Have your hay tested for trace elements including calcium. If you harvest your hay on your farm, check to see if you need lime which is a primary way to get calcium into your hay. Otherwise, mineral. Make sure it is readily available and good quality. Some minerals have low bioavailability ratings.

TexasBred can give you the best response.
I guess the standard hay test don't do the trace minerals part as I looked back at some results. My PH levels were good on the last test. The hay currently being feed came off a friends farm that probably has not been tested. We are feeding Vigortone 3V5S mineral with high mag right now. I don't have a tag in front of me at this time. I did notice the calcium is lower on the high mag than the regular one is.
 

Bright Raven

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tom4018":3q90pbpo said:
Bright Raven":3q90pbpo said:
Have your hay tested for trace elements including calcium. If you harvest your hay on your farm, check to see if you need lime which is a primary way to get calcium into your hay. Otherwise, mineral. Make sure it is readily available and good quality. Some minerals have low bioavailability ratings.

TexasBred can give you the best response.
I guess the standard hay test don't do the trace minerals part as I looked back at some results. My PH levels were good on the last test. The hay currently being feed came off a friends farm that probably has not been tested. We are feeding Vigortone 3V5S mineral with high mag right now. I don't have a tag in front of me at this time. I did notice the calcium is lower on the high mag than the regular one is.

I use Vitaferm ConceptAid. Have looked and it has very good bioavailability. That is very important. The highest concentrations are worthless if what goes in the front, goes out the back.

Was there a calf on that cow?
 
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tom4018

tom4018

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Bright Raven":1n8qd97k said:
tom4018":1n8qd97k said:
Bright Raven":1n8qd97k said:
Have your hay tested for trace elements including calcium. If you harvest your hay on your farm, check to see if you need lime which is a primary way to get calcium into your hay. Otherwise, mineral. Make sure it is readily available and good quality. Some minerals have low bioavailability ratings.

TexasBred can give you the best response.
I guess the standard hay test don't do the trace minerals part as I looked back at some results. My PH levels were good on the last test. The hay currently being feed came off a friends farm that probably has not been tested. We are feeding Vigortone 3V5S mineral with high mag right now. I don't have a tag in front of me at this time. I did notice the calcium is lower on the high mag than the regular one is.

I use Vitaferm ConceptAid. Have looked and it has very good bioavailability. That is very important. The highest concentrations are worthless if what goes in the front, goes out the back.

Was there a calf on that cow?

Yes, as I originally said her 2 week old calf butting on here trying to get her up caught my attention.
 

Bright Raven

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tom4018":13nj7yje said:
Bright Raven":13nj7yje said:
tom4018":13nj7yje said:
I guess the standard hay test don't do the trace minerals part as I looked back at some results. My PH levels were good on the last test. The hay currently being feed came off a friends farm that probably has not been tested. We are feeding Vigortone 3V5S mineral with high mag right now. I don't have a tag in front of me at this time. I did notice the calcium is lower on the high mag than the regular one is.

I use Vitaferm ConceptAid. Have looked and it has very good bioavailability. That is very important. The highest concentrations are worthless if what goes in the front, goes out the back.

Was there a calf on that cow?

Yes, as I originally said her 2 week old calf butting on here trying to get her up caught my attention.

That helps explain the low calcium. Postpartum low calcium levels are common if the diet is low in calcium.
 

JW IN VA

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Someone correct me if I am wrong but low Phos will cause it,too.Had a cow go down a few years back and,although I was feeding mineral and a protein block,both with high mag.,The cow was getting enough salt out of the block she didn't go to the mineral.Block had practically no Ca/Ph/ Using a 4:1 ratio high mag mineral now and,when I feed blocks,they are the type with no salt.
If you are feeding in rings,hay wagon,etc,you could have a case of the young,stronger cows eating the best hay and she's only getting the coarse,lower value hay.Had a wet season once and was feeding 22 cows on one hay ring.Size of bales equaled out to around 22 or 23 cows per day.Thought I was doing great until an older cow got down.Short teeth,old and couldn't compete.IMO there needs to be enough feeder space for each to have equal space or unroll the bales.
 
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tom4018

tom4018

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Hoping LuckyP might chime in on this. He may have seen my test results. I have not talked to the vet yet as they had closed by the time I got the message.
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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In the dairy industry, this tends to happen to older cows (milk fever). The flush of milk production pulls from the Calcium stores in the body. I have treated many dairy cows, out in the field, with just a calcium dextrose bottle and IV set up. They will just sit there, while you put the needle in the jugular and hold the bottle up until it is done. Some are able to jump up and run by the time the bottle is almost empty.
Here is a decent article about it:
https://extension.psu.edu/trouble-shoot ... w-problems
 
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tom4018

tom4018

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jerry27150":130ajz4i said:
vet needs to give her a bottle of calcium, she'll get right up
She was treated and was up the next morning. Just trying to prevent more.
 

wbvs58

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Usually milk fever is in the first couple of days after calving. Ketosis is another metabolic disease that will occur in the couple of weeks after calving especially if the cow is run down in condition.

These conditions are most common in dairy cows where they are getting milked right out. Usually a new born calf calf does not drink enough to cause a problem. Are you milking her out as well?.

While it is important to ensure they have the right nutrition when a cow is susceptible to milk fever it is very hard for them to take enough in orally to keep the blood level up in high demand periods the calcium is mobilised from the bones.

Ken
 

Son of Butch

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tom4018":2p0nypiu said:
Found a cow down this week. She was laying down but upright to were you would think everything was ok. Noticed her 2 week old calf butting her to try to get her up for milk. She looked to be in the same spot that she was that morning when I checked cows, never gave it a second thought that morning as several cows were with her.

Anyway called the vet and she thought it was either low calcium or magnesium and gave her an IV treatment plus the oral stuff. She pulled blood to be sure. Got home yesterday to have a message saying it was low calcium. Since I didn't get to talk to her and they are not open today I thought I would ask here.

What else other than free choice mineral can I do? They had mineral out and still feeding hay. I don't feed a lot of grain as we try to let them make it on grass. They get some grain once a week and there is mineral in it. If it makes any difference she is about 12 years old.
Hypocalcemia - Milk Fever not uncommon in dairy cows, especially Jersy

Low blood calcium - corrected by cal-dex given IV (Can also be given sub-q in a pinch if need be from lack of IV skills)
It happens when TOO MUCH Potassium and Calcium is fed in the last trimester, not too little.

I know it doesn't make sense, but it's from too much dietary potassium and calcium.
I don't know how to explain it properly....
But it has to do with keeping the cow's blood ph in balance and how bone calcium is absorbed after calving and
a heavy flush of milk.

Ask your Vet.
Milk Maid or LuckyP could explain it much better than me.

edit to add: I had to do an online search....
It's called Metabolic Alkalosis caused by too high of potassium in diet which increases blood ph which in turn prevents
effective use of bone calcium resulting in low blood calcium.
 
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tom4018

tom4018

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wbvs58":3oe7w8s7 said:
Usually milk fever is in the first couple of days after calving. Ketosis is another metabolic disease that will occur in the couple of weeks after calving especially if the cow is run down in condition.

These conditions are most common in dairy cows where they are getting milked right out. Usually a new born calf calf does not drink enough to cause a problem. Are you milking her out as well?.

While it is important to ensure they have the right nutrition when a cow is susceptible to milk fever it is very hard for them to take enough in orally to keep the blood level up in high demand periods the calcium is mobilised from the bones.

Ken

No not milking. She is a Hereford in normal condition.
 

ohiosteve

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If it does happen again and you give her
Cal-dex IV make sure you go slow. You can give dextrose as fast as it goes in, but calcium too fast will cause a heart attack and instant death.
 

ez14.

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We see it every now and then, only thing we do as a preventive measure is to make sure they aren't getting to much calcium during their dry period

For treating it we have switched to almost exclusively using Bovikalc bolus, after a bolus they are usually up in about an hour
 

Silver

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I saw it once when I was a kid, cow was down and Grandpa said it was milk fever. He fixed her up with a lantern pump and some twine. Took just a few minutes and she was up like nothing ever happened.
 

jerry27150

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tom, years ago our dairy cows had a lot of trouble with this & vet had us give phos in muscle, but it did not help. finally feed man figured with all the corn silage we fed they were not getting enough calcium
 

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