Downer Cow Syndrome

English

Postpartum paraplegia affects cows before or immediate after calving.

The trigger of postpartum paraplegia is reduced calcium concentration or inappropriate calcium-tophosphorus ratio in the blood of cows affected by the condition. High calcium deficiency, which is usually accompanied by phosphorus deficiency, leads to the clinical form of postpartum paraplegia: an affected animal remains in a characteristic position in sternal recumbency, pulling the head, extending the neck and gritting the teeth. The oral cavity is partially open, with the tongue sticking out. The body surface feels cool to the touch.

Only a very small proportion of cases of postpartum paraplegia is caused by reduced calcium levels in blood serum. In the majority of cases the condition is triggered by a decrease in phosphorus concentration.

The first action to be taken is oral administration of a calcium and phosphorus supplement several hours before calving, and repeat the procedure after 6-12 hours.

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