Discussion created on 11/20/2014

Dry cow and appetite depression

Dear colleagues,

I have a dry cow pregnant for a second time which should give birth in about 30 days. It turns out that its appetite has reduced and it´s not eating the feed ration or the corn stover/silage as usual. Its physiological constants are normal. It is possible to feel "pasty" consistency to the rumen contents. Little ruminal movement. Faeces are few but mixed with a kind of grease, jelly-like but gelatinous content.

Could it be displaced abomasum, rumen acidosis or pneumonia?

Thanks!

Anonymous query
Belgium
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Robert G. Kennedy Robert G. Kennedy
AA,BS and MS
November 20, 2014

There can be many aspects for a digestive disorder. If all physical concerns have been resolved. As the pregnancy normal no concerning health issues. Environmental concerns housing adequate, does animal have sufficient avalible access to feeds and water. Slow passage of digested feeds may have these concerns intake with regards to palatablity. Quality of feeds with regards to pathogenic bacteria moldy wet feeds. Quality of dry feeds are they also free of molds and negitive bacteria influence.

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Joe Magadi Joe Magadi
Manager
November 20, 2014
It is true there are varied factors that can affect dairy cow performance, fertility and health around the time of calving. Just to mention two: these include social grouping-cows should be in groups where they feel comfortable with each other. Also Some amount of straw in the diet can help in maintaining optimal rumen function and dry matter intake. Both will help minimise metabolic disorders that can exacerbate negative eneirgy balance.
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Ben Kimoro Ben Kimoro
M. SC. Animal Science (Ruminant Nutrition)
November 20, 2014
There definitely seems to be a digestive disorder based on the little information provided. Does it chew curd? How long ago was it deformed and is the smell of the dung normal or is there any unusual smell to it? Is the coat normal? My suggestion is that you feed more of what it likes and palatable roughage feeds as you observe its behaviour. Being at the very last stage of pregnancy the size of the calf may limit especially of the bulky roughage that have a high effect on gut fill.
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Joe Magadi Joe Magadi
Manager
November 20, 2014
Traditionally cows in their last term have been fed high energy dense diest in the hope that the foetal growth requires extra nutrients and that the dam needs to adapt to lactational diets before calving. However, the problem with this practice is the likelihood of over-conditioning the cow to the extent that she is predisposed to negative energy balance due to low appetite and attendant metabolic disorders such as ketosis, displaced abomasum, enteritis and so on. This is why it might be beneficial to monitor body condition closely near calving so that those animals with BCS of more than 3.25 should have their rations diluted with some straw, one to reduce excessive energy intake and two to maintain good rumen fill to encourage appetite in early lactation.
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Ben Kimoro Ben Kimoro
M. SC. Animal Science (Ruminant Nutrition)
November 21, 2014
Joe, I couldn't agree with you more on this issue of overconditioning. The need to monitor the body condition cannot be overemphasized too! What is not clear with this information is that the quality of the corn stover/silage being fed. It's possible by just closely examining the dung to see whether there are problems with the rumen fermentative functions. That is why I suggested that availing highly palatable bulky feeds could be a starting point to assess whether the cow is rejecting the feed due to a quality problem of the feeds or some other issue that is more to do digestive system functioning.
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Armagan Hayirli Armagan Hayirli
Veterinary Doctor
November 21, 2014
Hello
I would suggest checking first if fetus is alive. Then check if there is vagal indigestion. Later I would consider abomasal ulcer. Lastly, evaluate if roughage is moldy and change ration.
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Dr Neelesh Sharma Dr Neelesh Sharma
Veterinary Doctor
November 21, 2014
You may also consider for intestinal intususception if animal will completely stop the feces and will pass only mucus
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November 21, 2014
Beautifully scientists and farmeris have given their inputs......Looks u have taken care of deworming and to me at the moment is QUALITY feed only...give fresh fodder as well as boiled grains including any fat like cow boy in kenya.....your cow should not h ave constipation at the moment ....To improve digestion try the following formula
1.100gm green chilli +100 gram ginger +1/8 kg mint + 200 grams Soda Bicarb+ 250 gms onion.......Just make a mixture by hammering with wood and put the reciepie in news paper and give it as boll through month...ham\nd;e the animal friendly
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November 21, 2014
Dear
In the late pregnancy (30 to 0 days before pregnancy) the size of fetus pushes the ruman and a depression in intake is common. It can be cured using the high density diets to fulfill animal requirements.
In your case although you have provided little information it seems either ruman displacement or calf has moved to ruman side (torsion) and pressing the ruman.
Provide green and laxative diet , reduce fiber content with quality forages.
Ask for a vet to check for torsion. Also check for ruman imprecation. .
Reply
Dr. ABRAHAM K.CHACKO Dr. ABRAHAM K.CHACKO
Veterinary Doctor
November 22, 2014
It is worth checking for Fatty Liver. Better stop all grain/ concentrates and as others suggested, do quality forage only.
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prakash kulkarni prakash kulkarni
B. V,Sc & A .H .
November 22, 2014
If there is torsion of uterus animal will go totally offfeed i think execess o f silage may be the cause of the problem
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Drmuhammad Shafique Drmuhammad Shafique
Veterinary Doctor
November 23, 2014
this is only a very simple problem it is just indigestion by giving green fodder and stomachic powder / appetite enhancer this problem could be cured. i some time suggest masoor dal cooked like human consumption for three to four days this problem is also cured. suggestions like torsion in the this condition animal continue to intake.other problems like abomasal ulcers and other are ruled out.
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Mumar Mumar
veterinarian and health supervisor
November 24, 2014
for dry of pregnant cow the chance of displaced abomasum and acidosis is rarely,but the chance of pneumonia i can not comment b/c it s infectious disease u can judge by clinical sign, but i have dought that feed formulation and mixing problems. if u check feed formulation ,mixing and distribution and dry feed particles size ( length of rods).for treatment point of u ,u can used rumen juice of other cows or used live yeast rumen stimulator remedy.
Reply
Harjit Kaur Harjit Kaur
Ph. D, Animal Nutrition
November 24, 2014
The depression in feed intake during advanced pregnancy is obvious due to increased size of the foetus. However, it is desired that high energy diet may be given to the cows during this period rather than high fibre diet.
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Umberto Francesa Umberto Francesa
Veterinary Doctor
November 24, 2014
In my experience DA's, at this stage of gestation are rare and symptoms different of what you have described.
A dairy cow at this stage should be eating around 1.6% of her BW in a daily basis (DMI).

For what you are saying, "Feces are few but mixed with a kind of grease, jelly-like but gelatinous content. ", this cow is passing manure very slowly and therefore you need to adjust her diet with a diet that contain a little more of physical fiber, like a good quality hay. I stress "good quality hay".


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Muhammad Ashraf Iqbal Muhammad Ashraf Iqbal
Animal Nutritionist
November 29, 2014
I endorse the coments of Hirjit Kaur, however in feeding strategy fibrous feed cannot be ignored. Good quality hay with optimal nutritious value should also be considered.
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