Cattle Medicine Q&A 01

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A 5-year-old Holstein cow, which calved 1 month ago and was previously yielding 42 L/day, presents with a poor appetite and milk yield which has fallen steadily over the past 2 days to 22 L/day. The cow has been licking at objects such as walls and her own flanks for long periods of time. The rectal temperature is normal. The cow has a gaunt appearance with sunken sublumbar fossae consistent with a reduced appetite. The cow is constipated while other cows in the high-yielding group have soft faeces.

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Comments by Nick Lyons MA VetMB CertCHP MRCVS

1. Feeding molasses is generally frowned upon during the dry period due to the high potassium content which can increase the rate of milk fever in the herd.

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