Cattle producers need to watch out for grass tetany
by Aimee Nielson, UK Ag News
Apr 09, 2014 | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<i>Matt Barton/UK Agricultural Communications<p>
Older, early lactation cows are the most suspectible to grass tetany but it can affect all cattle.</i>
Matt Barton/UK Agricultural Communications

Older, early lactation cows are the most suspectible to grass tetany but it can affect all cattle.

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LEXINGTON – With spring finally arriving pastures are beginning to green up. For most cattle producers, that is a welcome event that leads to less reliance on feeding hay. But University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment specialists said this is also the time for producers to watch out for and prevent a condition called grass tetany in their cattle.

“Grass tetany is also known as grass staggers, lactation tetany or hypomagnesemia,” said Michelle Arnold, UK extension veterinarian. “Grass tetany is a metabolic disorder caused by reduced magnesium levels in the animals’ blood.”

In general, the condition affects older, early lactation cows, but it can also affect dry cows, young cows and, in rare cases, growing calves.

“You should watch out for cattle that show symptoms such as nervousness, lack of coordination, muscle spasms and staggering. This may lead to convulsions, coma and death,” Arnold explained. “If you suspect cattle are showing signs of grass tetany, you need to contact a veterinarian because early treatment can save animals.”

For the rest of this story, see this week's issue of The Cadiz Record or subscribe to our e-Edition by calling 270-522-6605.
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