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• It is a complex metabolic disturbance ch. by drop of serum and CSF Mg which lead to hyperesthesia, muscular spasms, convulsions, respiratory distress, collapse, and death. Occurrence and animal susceptibility • Adult lactating cows are most susceptible due to the loss of Mg in milk. It is rare in non lactating cattle but has occurred when undernourished cattle were introduced to green cereal crops. • It occurs mainly when animals are grazed on lush grass pastures or green cereal crops, but can occur in lactating beef cows fed silage indoors.
1- Intracellular function:, • Mg is a major component in many enzymatic reactions within the cell (> 300 enzymes require Mg for activation(. • Without Mg , biochemical reactions within the cell would cease and death would occur. 2- Extracellular function:, • Mg is essential for muscle function, nerve cell conduction, and bone formation. • Although around 70% of the Mg in the body is contained in the bone, this Mg is not very available to the animal in times of Mg deficiency. • Therefore, it is essential cows receive supplemental Mg in the diet when faced with a deficiency
I- Sharp decrease in serum Mg and
Ca deficiency may play a role.
• It occurs after a decrease in serum Mg, when absorption of dietary Mg is unable to meet the requirements for maintenance (3 mg/kg body wt) and lactation (120 mg/kg milk). • Mg def. occurs in high lact. cow raised on pastures rich in K & Nitro. fertilizers. • Mg absorption from the rumen may be reduced when K and nitrogen intakes are high and Na and P intakes are low.
II- Contributing / stress factors
1- Nutritional Stress
• Turning cattle onto winter pasture directly from low quality pasture. • Grazing on young forage, small grain or ryegrass pastures, or rapidly growing lush pastures are the most dangerous.
2- Weather stress
• The disorder is more common during cool, cloudy, and rainy weather. • Animals, particularly lactating cows, get grass tetany most often when grazing cool-season grasses or small grain pastures in spring and fall.
II-Contributing / stress factors
3- Soil and fertilizer stress • It occurs most frequently on pastures grown on soils low in available Mg and high in available K. • Heavy applications of broiler house litter or other high-nitrogen and K manures may increase the hazard of grass tetany. 4- Mineral contents of feeds. • Forages containing less than 0.2% magnesium and more than 3% potassium and 4% nitrogen (25% protein) are likely to cause grass tetany under the right conditions. Forages that are high in potassium and nitrogen should also contain at least 0.25% magnesium on a dry matter basis
• Disease occurs when Mg drop to < 1 mg/dl (Norm:1.7-3) that may assoc. with hypocalcaemia (< 8 mg/dl) • Mg have a role as a transmittors of impulses to the muscular system leading to secretion of acetyl-choline that activate choline esterase resp. for musc. contraction. • Mg deficiency result in muscular tremors, twitch & spasm.
• Cows cease feeding on pasture suddenly. • Contracted muscle and ears. • Hyperesthesia, followed by frenzy movements, blowing , ataxia • Opisothonus, convulsions, Nystagmus, jaw movement with frothiness of mouth. • Cows lay down with frequent attempt to raise. • Slight rise in body temp., pulse & respiration. • Increased force of heart beat. • Cows may die in an hours if not treated immediately.
Acute clinical picture
Cows and ewes with hypomagnesemic tetany
Sub acute picture
• It occurs gradually, cows stays for 3-4 days with inappetance, sad face, increased fore & hind limbs movements. • Cows are reluctant to move, throw head away. • Increased frequency of urination and defection assoc. with straining. • Muscl. tremors, mild convulsions esp. on hind legs and tail with ataxia. • Hyperesthesia. • Cows may recover or lay down.
• Depression may be the only signs observed at peak of lactation. • Loss of appetite and weight. • May resemble milk fever signs, but don’t respond to Ca therapy. Hypomagnesemic tetany in sheep • Clinical signs of hypomagnesemic tetany in sheep occur when plasma Mg is <0.5 mg/dL • It occurs concomitantly with hypocalcemia • The disease in lactating ewes occurs under essentially the same conditions and has the same clinical signs as in cattle.
• Drop in Mg and Ca levels in blood and CSF. • Signs of muscl. tremors observed when Mg < 0.7 mg/dl., Ca < 5-8 mg/dl • Mild decrease in serum P, increase in serum K. • Decreased Mg in urine.
• Grazing of adult lactating cows on lush green pasture rich in K & N fertilizers. • Bad weathers
Clinical signs of Ataxia, in coordination,
Hyperesthesia, in cows at peak of lactation.
Laboratory: Drop of serum Mg < 0.7 mg/dl
Response to treatment by both Mg and Ca preparations.
1- Acute lead poisoning (Blindness and frenzy) 2- BSE (Frenzy signs have no relation to Mg) 3-Rabies (down paralysis, Dog biting, No convulsions). 4-Nervous from of ketosis. (Ketonemia, ketonuria)
• It can be successful if given early and without excessive handling of the affected animal • 200 ml of Mg sulfate 50% injected under the skin increased the level of Mg in the blood in 15 min. or • IV inj of 500 ml. of (Ca Borogluconate 25 %, + Hypophosphate Mg 5 %), 50 ml for ewe. or • Mg lactate 3.3 % iv or sc. or • Mg gluconate 15 % (200-300 ml iv). • Avoid heart & respiration abnormalities during IV injection
Hypomagnesemic tetany of calves, Whole milk tetany
It is similar to that of adult cows. It occurs in calves fed on milk from dams deficient in Mg. Feeding of calves on food def. in Mg & suckling from dams in its peak of lactation result in whole Milk Tetany
• • • • • First sign is cont. ear movements. Hyperesthesia. Tachycardia and normal body temp. Deviation of head and opisothonus. Ataxia, dropping of ears.
• Difficulty drinking of water, inability to reach water pucket. • Muscle tremors esp. with kinking abdomen. • Convulsions, foot pushing, jaw movement, frothiness. • Incontin. Urination & defecation. • Cyanotic m.m before death.
How to avoid Hypomagnesemia
Mg should be given as feed additive: • Daily oral supplements of Mg oxide 60 g to cattle and 10 g to sheep should be given in the danger period. • Mg Oxide 7-8 % mixed with Mollas or water and sprayed over hay and dry food. • Let pastures to complete its growth and decrease its K supply. • Avoid parturition of cows at winter season and delay it to the end of winter. • Avoid stress factors. • Adequate Soil Phosphorus decreases the Grass Tetany Potential of Tall Fescue Pasture • Feeding free-choice mineral that supplies 13-15 g of Mg / head / day for 30 days prior to and 30 days after turnout will control most grass tetany problems.