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Veterinaria México

Print version ISSN 0301-5092


SALGADO HERNANDEZ, Eligio Gabriel; BOUDA, Jan; AVILA GARCIA, Jorge  and  NAVARRO HERNANDEZ, Jaime Alonso. Effect of postpartum administration of calcium salts and glucose precursors on serum calcium and ketone bodies in dairy cows. Vet. Méx [online]. 2009, vol.40, n.1, pp.17-26. ISSN 0301-5092.

Subclinical hypocalcemia and ketosis are common diseases in mostly dairy cows in the first days postpartum, increasing the risk for other diseases and decreasing milk production. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of postpartum administration of calcium salts and glucose precursors on the concentration of serum calcium and ketone bodies in milk of multiparous dairy cows. Sixteen Holstein cows with two to four calvings and body condition from 3.25 to 3.75 points were utilized and randomized into three groups. Cows of the Group 1 (n = 5) received 700 g of calcium propionate diluted in 10 L of water by a esophageal pump system between 1 and 2 h after calving. Cows of the Group 2 (n = 6) were treated intravenously with 500 mL of calcium borogluconate solution (23%) and 500 mL of propylene glycol as an oral drench. The control Group (n = 5) did not receive any treatment. Blood samples were collected 1 to 2 h after calving (before treatment) and two more samples 12 and 24 h after calving for determination of calcium in serum. Levels of p-hydroxybutyrate were assessed in milk at days 3, 7 and 10 postpartum. The results were analyzed using the multivariate analysis of variance for repeated measures. There were no significant differences in serum concentration of calcium between treatments (F2,13 = 1.0488, P = 0.3782). A significant difference in milk production was found among treatments (F2,13 = 4.1338, P = 0.0408) at days 10 and 60 postpartum. The significant difference in the proportion of cases of subclinical ketosis was registered between groups 1 and 2 (chi square = 5.238; P = 0.0455). Oral administration of 700 g of calcium propionate 1 to 2 h postpartum, does not increase serum calcium concentration, reduces frequency of subclinical ketosis and can increase milk production.

Keywords : serum calcium; ketone bodies; dairy cow.

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