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J Dairy Sci. 2017 Dec;100(12):9715-9722. doi: 10.3168/jds.2017-13065. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

Risk factors associated with milk fever occurrence in grazing dairy cattle.

Author information

1
Animal Nutrition Research Center and Animal Science Department, University of Costa Rica, San José 11501, Costa Rica. Electronic address: alejandro.saboriomontero@ucr.ac.cr.
2
Population Medicine Research Program, Veterinary Medicine School, National University of Costa Rica, Heredia 40104, Costa Rica.
3
Animal Nutrition Research Center and Animal Science Department, University of Costa Rica, San José 11501, Costa Rica.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine risk factors associated with milk fever (MF) occurrence in Costa Rican grazing dairy cattle. A total of 69,870 cows from 126 dairy herds were included in the study. Data were collected in the Veterinary Automated Management and Production Control Program software by the Population Medicine Research Program of the Veterinary Medicine School, National University of Costa Rica, from 1985 to 2014. To determine the risk factors for MF, 2 logistic regression mixed models were evaluated. The first model used breed, month of calving, ecological life zone, herd nested within ecological life zone, and parity as fixed effects. The second model excluded first-lactation animals and cows without production information, had the same fixed effects of the first model, and added previous MF case, previous lactation length, previous dry period length, previous corrected 305-d milk yield, and calving interval length as fixed effects. Both models used animal and year as random effects. Of the 235,971 recorded lactations, 4,312 (1.83%) reported MF event. The significantly associated risk factors for MF occurrence, ranked by their highest odds ratio (OR), were parity (OR = 52.59), previous dry period length (OR = 4.21), ecological life zone (OR = 3.20), breed (OR = 3.04), previous corrected 305-d milk yield (OR = 2.39), previous MF case (OR = 2.35), and month of calving (OR = 1.36). The findings of this study are the first data reported using an epidemiological approach to study risk factors for MF in Costa Rican dairy cattle. Some of these results might be used to improve preventive management practices at the farms to reduce the incidence of this metabolic disease in grazing dairy herds.

KEYWORDS:

dairy cattle; grazing cow; milk fever; risk factor

PMID:
28941816
DOI:
10.3168/jds.2017-13065
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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