Cow down because of low calcium

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tom4018
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Cow down because of low calcium

Postby tom4018 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:24 am

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.
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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby Bright Raven » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:29 am

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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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby tom4018 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:47 am

Bright Raven wrote: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.
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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby Bright Raven » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:50 am

tom4018 wrote:
Bright Raven wrote: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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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby tom4018 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:02 am

Bright Raven wrote:
tom4018 wrote:
Bright Raven wrote: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.
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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby Bright Raven » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:07 am

tom4018 wrote:
Bright Raven wrote:
tom4018 wrote: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.
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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby JW IN VA » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:49 pm

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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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby tom4018 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:50 pm

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.
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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:05 pm

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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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby jerry27150 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:06 pm

vet needs to give her a bottle of calcium, she'll get right up
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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby tom4018 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:23 pm

jerry27150 wrote: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.
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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby wbvs58 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:53 pm

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
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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:01 pm

tom4018 wrote: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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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby tom4018 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:57 pm

wbvs58 wrote: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.
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Re: Cow down because of low calcium

Postby cowgirl8 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:51 am

We've had it happen only a couple times. Not common in beef cattle.
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