After calving, a cow may fall and remain lying down. The cow will generally present with what is called “milk fever” or hypocalcemia. In fact, calcium needs will increase suddenly, up to 1 kilogram at the start of lactation. In this article we will look at why your cow may be lying down and what the solutions are.
Symptoms of hypocalcemia
Generally within 48 hours after calving, if the cow will appear weak and fall. The cow can then no longer stand up and suffers from what is called lying cow syndrome. The hours following the calving of a cow are a critical phase during which we must observe the evolution of its condition. In the case of milk fever, she will be lying down and will have a fever, her extremities will be cold, she will no longer ruminate and will breathe slowly.
What are the causes of hypocalcemia?
It is important to monitor cows that may be at greater risk of hypocalcemia, generally after the second calving. The most common cause of hypocalcemia or “milk fever” is often a lack of calcium and phosphorus. When calcium requirements at the start of lactation suddenly increase, the hypocalcemic cow will then present risks of mastitis and ketosis.
Treating the cow with hypocalcemia
If your cow has a fever and is lying down, you will need to quickly call the veterinarian who will administer calcium, generally accompanied by magnesium and phosphorus. The animal must then get up within 24 hours. If this is not the case, you will have to turn the cow three to four times a day to avoid bedsores. However, once recovered, the animal may not get up again.
Use a cow lift to raise the animal
It happens that after a fever due to hypocalcemia, the cow does not get up. Generally, the animal is traumatized by its fall and does not want to get up. To raise it, the farmer must have a tool in his agricultural equipment to lift the cow. Often these are hip restraints, which have a strong risk of injuring the animal. However, a risk-free and very practical solution exists: the UP COW lifting harness.
The UP COW cow lifting harness allows you to lift cows that have fallen or are weak, but also allows them to be kept standing for prolonged periods, in the event of whitlow for example. This allows the cow to be supported until she is able to stand up on her own again. The UP COW cow lifting harness has been designed to respect the morphology of the animals and not injure them. Its X-shaped construction does not compress the animal’s stomach, does not damage its joints and ensures maximum ventilation for the animal.