Article Index "Parturient Paresis (Milk Fever)" Article Index

PARTURIENT PARESIS (MILK FEVER)

By: "Nutrient Requirements Of Goats - Number 15, 1981,
National Academy Press"
About the Author

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The incidence of paralysis-type conditions of this metabolic hypocalcemic disorder differs among genetic groups of dairy cattle, but is also reported for other species, including goats (Littledike, 1974; Guss, 1977). However, it is not observed as frequently in goats as in cows. Signs and treatments are similar to those for cows. Prevention has been tried with different contents of calcium in the diet during the dry period, and with hormone treatment and vitamin D therapy, but no generally accepted management practice has evolved. Parturient paresis has been related to greatly increased mammary blood flow immediately after parturition (Reynold, 1970).

The relationship of the kinetics of calcium pool size and calcium turnover rate to dietary phosphorus levels were studied and discussed by Twardock et al. (1970) and Anderson et al. (1970). It was noted that different dietary regimes of goats, including changed calcium-to-phosphorus ratios, had significant effects on the size and biological half-life of the readily exchangeable calcium pool. It was suggested that the response time of the parathyroid hormone and the removal of the calcium from the so-called nonexchangeable bone pool was too slow for the immediate calcium needs of parturition and lactation onset in goats; and when the readily exchangeable calcium pool was inadequate to meet these needs, then parturient paresis resulted. A low or high calcium diet over time may be a predisposing factor for a reduced readily exchangeable calcium pool in goats. Dietary phosphorus levels influence the effects of such diets, and also the level of intestinal calcium absorption and available calcium in goats.

About the author: The majority of this information was researched from various tests and sources.
"Nutrient Requirements Of Goats - Number 15, 1981, National Academy Press"
Subcommittee on Goat Nutrition
Committee on Animal Nutrition
Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources
Commission on Natural Resources
National Research Council

Also see "Milk Fever" by Suzanne W. Gasparotto

Agricultural Research Service

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