Grass Staggers

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Grass Tetany

Grass Staggers, Hypomagnesemia Tetany


Causes:

  • Occurs when feed is low in magnesium content
  • The symptoms appear when the level of magnesium in the blood drops below a critical level. This usually occurs when lush green grass is the only feed or when pastures are fertilized with potash during the wet, fast-growing season. Lush green grass may be low in magnesium

Symptoms:Grass Tetany

  • A goat suffering from grass tetany is first nervous and trembling, becomes progressively weaker, and then lies down and cannot stand. Symptoms can resemble milk fever.

Transmission:

  • Fast passage and other factors may also limit the uptake of magnesium by the animal.

Treatment:

Grass Tetany in animals

  • Consist of IV administration of drugs containing magnesium. Usually milk fever remedies contain enough magnesium to treat this condition.

Prevention:

  • It is best prevented by feeding some legume hay and grain and on lush grasses. Some dry straw-like forage might help reduce intake of grass or slow the passage of the grass through the digestive tract.

References:

  • Thedford, Thomas R. Goat Health Handbook: A Field Guide for Producers with Limited     Veterinary Services. Morrilton, AR: Winrock International, 1983.

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