Grass Tetany in Cattle: Causes, Signs & Treatments
Grass Tetany in cattle is a fatal condition if not treated right away. Being able to see the first signs of grass tetany is critical to be able to preventing this condition. Giving supplements to your cows on pasture is a easy way to prevent this fatal condition from occurring.
What is grass tetany?
-Grass tetany or grass staggers (can also be known as hypomagnesaemia or magnesium tetany) is a metabolic disturbance that is caused by a magnesium deficiency in cattle that are grazing young, rapidly growing forages.
-Usually occurs in cool season grasses or winter annuals in the winter and early spring.
-Most common in early lactation cows that are producing high amounts of milk.
-Older cows are more susceptible to this than younger cows.
What causes grass tetany incattle?
-Cattle that are grazing plants with low magnesium content
-Pastures that are fertilized with heavy amounts of nitrogen or pastures with high soil potassium are more likely to cause grass tetany.
-Wet soils are low in oxygen can't take up proper levels of magnesium can cause grass tetany also.
-Pastures that have been over fertilized with animal waste also are more likely to cause grass tetany.
Symptoms of grass tetany?
-Generally the first sign of grass tetany are usually a dead cow that was fine the last time you saw her
-Some early signs are:
-elevated respiration and heart rate
-As the condition worsens the symptoms are:
-extremely sensitive to sound
-convulsions and then death
Treatment for grass tetany in cattle?
-Once symptoms are observed you should give intravenous injection of calcium magnesium gluconate or magnesium enema.
-Always have a veterinarian perform these treatments because if they are not done at the right amounts it can be toxic
-Follow these steps if your cattle have grass tetany:
-Get immediate treatment for affected animals
-Get supplemental magnesium into all the animals in the herd
-Move the herd to a different pasture that contains legumes or supplement them with legume hay
Prevention for grass tetany?
-Lime deficient pastures with magnesium limestone
-Use a nutritional supplement high in calcium and magnesium to reduce the risk to your herd
Grass tetany in cattle can be a very costly disease if not caught early enough. Supplementing animals on pasture with a high calcium and magnesium supplement can be very helpful.
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