Pregnancy Toxaemia in beef cattle

DPI NSW - Graham Bailey

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Helpful article on pregnancy toxemia in beef cattle, the causes and ways to prevent it occurring. Interesting to read that pregnancy toxemia occurs in the last two months of pregnancy in a cow of any age.

This fact sheet covers pregnancy toxaemia in beef cattle, how it can be caused and what management practices can be used to assist producers to become more effective in identifying and managing any cases they may encounter.

The items covered in this article were:

• What is pregnancy toxaemia?

• When does pregnancy toxaemia occur?

• What are the symptoms of pregnancy toxaemia?

• How can pregnancy toxaemia be treated?

• How can pregnancy toxaemia be prevented?

Key points were as follows:

• The cause of pregnancy toxaemia (also known as fatty liver syndrome) is when a cows brain experiences a build up of toxic fat cells that the liver has been unable to break down. Overly fat cows are the most likely to be affected by pregnancy toxaemia, and at higher risk are those that are also pregnant with twins.

• Pregnancy toxaemia occurs in the last two months of pregnancy in a cow of any age, and it has been known to occur in cows that have freshly calved.

• The symptoms are depression, lethargy, unusual behaviour, isolation, loss of appetite, restlessness, high stepping walk, fast breathing and can charge at moving objects.

• Seek urgent veterinary advice for the treatment of pregnancy toxaemia in cattle.

• Nutritional management can prevent cows getting pregnancy toxaemia; ensure quality feed is available before, during and after pregnancy. In areas where the quality feed is not available, supplements should be provided to cattle to ensure adequate nutrition.

2015 - Australia - DPI NSW - Graham Bailey
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