Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: March 13, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Milk Fever is a complex metabolic disorder that occurs at the onset of lactation. Clinical symptoms of this disease include inappetence, tetany, inhibition of urination and defecation, lateral recumbency, and eventual coma and death if left untreated. The hallmark of this disease is severe hypocalcemia, which accounts for most of the clinical signs associated with a milk fever episode. Several factors have been consistently associated with increased incidence of milk fever which include, but are not limited to, parturition and initiation of lactation, advancing age, breed, and diet. Of the various methods used in attempts to control the disease, the most progress has been made in dietary management. Until recently, most of the attention has focused on manipulating the dietary calcium levels to control milk fever incidence. The success with which dietary calcium modification has controlled milk fever has been inconsistent, except for those diets containing very low (8 to 10 g/d) calcium concentrations. During the past decade, however, there has been considerable interest and research in the use of dietary anions (chloride and sulfate) in controlling milk fever.