What are the problems with dairy cows after birth?


The most common is low levels of Ca (calcium) in the blood. This is found in about 50% of soon-calved cows and often its manifestation is hidden, ie. there is subclinical / hidden / hypocalcemia. Massive latent hypocalcemia is the cause of ketosis and metritis, and subsequently to massive problems in reproduction. It is the cause of higher mortality and a significant decrease in profitability on farms.

How to prevent or reduce hypocalcemia?

First of all, during the dry season, the ration should generally be relatively low in calcium (Ca) and increase immediately after calving. This rule is often not observed in practice in small farms, which leads to mass hypocalcemia and deals a serious blow to profitability, expressed in an increase in the rate of gynecological and metabolic diseases, relocation of rennet, and at a later stage of recurrence, due to developed chronic endometritis.

Be sure to consult your nutritionist or veterinarian if you suspect that the ration you give to animals needs to be adjusted. Do blood tests on cows to check calcium levels.

When you have mass metritis, ketosis, placental abruption or frequent clinical manifestations of postpartum paresis, you must suspect and check for the silent “killer” of recently calved cows, namely the latent reduction of calcium in the blood (subclinical hypolacemia).

In addition to the regulation of the ration, another effective method for prevention and regulation of calcium levels is the application of the so-called. calcium boluses. They are fed to each cow within a few hours after calving and effectively combat mass latent hypocalcemia.

2.Placental retention

The higher rate of placental retention may also be due to widespread latent hypocalcemia. Modern methods do not recommend manual removal, but treatment with injectable antibiotics and only after the third day to try to remove it under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Always with placental abruption, twins, difficult births and abortions, in 100% of cases metritis develops. Such cows should be monitored continuously and their temperature monitored. If it rises, injectable antibiotics should be given to the animals.

3.Acute inflammation of the uterus (metritis), ketosis, postpartum paresis.

The other very common condition in dairy cows is the development of acute inflammation of the uterus or the so-called. metrites. Each cow must be examined for metritis between the 5th and 7th day after calving. In the presence of metritis, the examination reveals odorous watery red-brown discharges and a temperature above 39.5 C. In such a finding, treatment must be performed by a veterinarian and includes injection of antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is important to remember that the presence of odorless mucoid discharges does not require the use of antibiotics. In such cows, the administration of the natural prostaglandin Enzaprost is appropriate between the 30th and 40th day.

Remember! The presence of reddish-brown watery discharge with an unpleasant odor from the external genitalia until the 10th day after calving is an acute metritis, which requires urgent treatment by a veterinarian.

The main goal in treating metritis, no matter what it is caused by, is to eliminate depression, fever and loss of appetite. Restoring appetite is extremely important! This is achieved with the use of injectable antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (eg meloxidyl), necessarily under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Cows with metritis must be checked by a veterinarian for ketosis and rennet relocation. Sometimes these diseases occur simultaneously and the root cause is metritis. The sequence of their development is often as follows: subclinical hypocalcemia – decreased appetite – inactive uterine contractility – metritis – ketosis – displacement of the rennet.

Prevention of postpartum problems in cows:

1.Prevent postpartum latent sublinic hypocalcemia. Improve appetite, change the ration and give calcium boluses, up to a few hours after calving.

2.Observe impeccable box hygiene. Maintain their abundant covering with a thick straw litter. Periodically clean and disinfect.

3.Watch for the lack of vitamin E, selenium / Se / and copper / Cu /.

4.Do not allow overcrowding in the delivery area – the food front should be 70 linear centimeters before and after calving.

5.Fresh water – drinking bowls with a width of 7 cm and a depth of 15 to 30 cm.

6.Monitoring of cows, daily, for the first 15 days after calving.

7.Get an examination by a veterinarian for ketosis, metritis and displaced rennet. This practice must be mandatory on the farm.

8.Measure the cow’s temperature on the 5th and 7th day after calving.

9.Watch for the presence of odorous watery red-brown discharges, accompanied by a high temperature of 39.5 C. They are a sign of the development of severe metritis. Call a doctor immediately.

Watch for similar signs in each cow until the 10th day after calving.

By following all these rules, you ensure a smooth and smooth transition to the postpartum period. This will help you to breed the cow on time and at the right time for profitable dairy farming.

Good farming practices should become your constant habits. Adherence to the exact recommendations guarantees minimal losses and increased efficiency of the dairy farm.

We thank Dr. Kolev for useful tips and remind you that for more information you can contact him by phone: 0884 541 787