Milk fever in Ruminants: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Do you have pregnant sheep, goats or cows that fall sick before or after delivery? Saliva drips out of their mouth, they stop defecating or urinating, they find it difficult to stand or walk. The cause might be milk fever. Read to find out more.

Milk fever or hypocalcemia arises when animals are unable to mobilise sufficient calcium from the bones or diet when there is high demand for calcium, leading to low blood calcium level. Calcium is in high demand during late pregnancy and some days after birthing. For cows, milk fever mainly occur after birth but for goats and sheep it mainly occur before birth, during late pregnancy period (i.e. 6 weeks before birthing). Occurrence after birth isn’t common in sheep and goats.

Generally, milk fever can occur at any time from 6 weeks before to 10 weeks after birthing. Milk fever can also occur when certain compounds
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