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Experiments on hypomagnesemia and ketosis in dairy cows



Experiments on hypomagnesemia and ketosis in dairy cows



Acta Agric Suecana 3(2): 89-120



Expts. on exptl. hypomagnesemia in dairy cows are descr., showing that the disease can be of nutritional origin. Mg deficiency and caloric shortage seem to be the most important causes. Seasonal hypomagnesemia is of little importance in well-fed cows with a daily intake of 20-25 g. of Mg. In cows with a restricted caloric intake, low values for serum Mg resulted when A. I. V. silage was fed. This indicates an acidotic effect on the serum Mg. There is a marked and significant individual variation in the serum Mg. Not all cows are equally inclined to develop hypomagnesemia. Dairy cows may have hypomagnesemia without exhibiting clinical symptoms of disease. The hypomagnesemia may lead to disease, viz., tetany and/or paresis. In the expts.,one cow on a Mg-deficient diet rich in cellulose died in tetany. One cow with restricted energy intake and A. I. V. silage had to be slaughtered due to the same disease. Two cows on the. same diet as the latter became paretic. Of 10 cows with a restricted energy intake, 7 had acetonuria and 6 of these cows had clinical ketosis symptoms. Ketosis was found on feeding A. I. V. as well as formic acid silage. It is probable that caloric shortage was an important cause of the great increase in the metabolic diseases, ketosis and tetany, in Norway during the war. In other animals, fasting may cause ketosis; practical experiences, too, indicate that fasting ketosis was common during the war. Although a restricted caloric intake is an important cause of ketosis, it is not the sole cause. The view that ketosis can be prevented by feeding sugar is untenable. There is no indication that carotene, P, Cu, and Co content in rations has any effect in preventing ketosis. The rations richest in cellulose were certainly the poorest in B vitamins. As these rations proved to be the least ketogenic; lack of these vits. seems not to have produced ketonemia. The authors' observations indicate the importance of a gradual increase in the amt. of feed given after calving. An irregular and rapid increase may lead to inappetence,which secondarily may cause metabolic diseases. It is necessary to be especially careful with voluminous feeds such as silage. Although caloric shortage is not the sole cause of metabolic diseases in dairy cows, the authors advise a normal feeding that meets the requirements of energy. To prevent metabolic diseases, they find it important to make a gradual transition in feeding as the animal changes from the dry period to lactation. Heavy feeding in the dry period is not recommended.

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Accession: 013706726

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