In cattle, milk fever, also known as hypocalcemia, is crucial for early detection and prompt treatment. In Australia, the following steps can be taken to monitor for milk fever.
Regular observation: Closely observe cows in the late stages of pregnancy, particularly high-producing dairy cows, as they are more prone to developing milk fever.
Calcium levels: Measure the blood calcium levels of susceptible cows, preferably a few days before calving, using a blood sample test. Low calcium levels indicate a higher risk of milk fever.
Clinical signs: Look out for clinical signs such as weakness, muscle tremors, reduced appetite, difficulty standing, and decreased milk production, as these can indicate milk fever.
Veterinary involvement: Consult with a veterinarian who can provide guidance on monitoring techniques, perform blood tests, and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Dietary management: Ensure cows receive a well-balanced diet with adequate calcium and mineral supplementation, especially during pre-calving.
Record keeping: Maintain accurate records of calving dates, observed symptoms, and treatment administered to monitor trends and identify high-risk individuals or herds. Regular monitoring and proactive management practices can help promptly identify and address milk fever in cattle, reducing the risk of complications and improving overall herd health. It is essential to consult with local veterinary professionals and follow industry best practices for effective monitoring and management strategies.