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Vet Res Commun. 2009 Feb;33(2):123-37. doi: 10.1007/s11259-008-9079-1. Epub 2008 Aug 7.

Failure to improve energy balance or dehydration by drenching transition cows with water and electrolytes at calving.

Author information

1
Department of Large Animal Sciences, Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, University of Copenhagen, Taastrup, Denmark. jen@life.ku.dk

Abstract

The disease risk is very high among transition cows that may suffer from poor appetite. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate the effect of drenching on energy balance, hydration state and selected production parameters in fresh cows. Twenty-one Danish Holstein-Friesian dairy cows in late pregnancy were randomly allocated to either treatment (TG) or control group (CG). TG cows were drenched twice with 20 l of water containing a mixture of calcium propionate, MgSO(4), and KCL specifically developed for prophylactic treatment of fresh cows. The results indicated that cows become dehydrated around calving, losing on average 53 l (TG) and 24.5 l (CG) of extra-cellular fluid, respectively. The drenching volume applied in the present study did not affect the degree of hydration after calving. Based on blood NEFA and BHB values it was shown that drenching caused a reduction in the degree of negative energy balance (NEB). Somatic cell count (SCC) for cows in first lactation was lower in the TG compared to CG. Milk yield was unaffected by treatment. We conclude that prophylactic drenching added little to the health promotion in the transition cows in the present study. Instead, increased focus on management routines would probably be of more value.

PMID:
18686006
DOI:
10.1007/s11259-008-9079-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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