Production-related metabolic disorders of cattle: ketosis, milk fever and grass staggers

01 Jun 2019

Mann, S., McArt, J., Abuelo, A.

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Metabolic diseases usually occur when the production’s peak is beyond the capacity of the animal’s reserves to sustain a particular metabolic demand (eg, energy, calcium, magnesium, etc) at physiologic concentrations. Diseases like ketosis, milk fever or grass staggers usually occur after calving, when the demands for milk production overwhelm the physiological regulatory mechanisms. Despite the availability of treatment strategies for these disorders in the field, the evidence supporting their use is scarce in some cases, and the debate regarding the optimal treatment strategies for recovery continues. This article reviews and compares the current available knowledge on various treatment strategies for ketosis, hypocalcaemia (milk fever), and hypomagnesaemia (grass staggers) in periparturient cattle. The practical applications of the research studies are emphasised to provide current evidence-based treatment protocols for practising veterinarians.