How to prevent milk fever (hypocalcemia) in goats

Hypocalcemia | Milk Fever in Goats

Milk fever, often referred to as Hypocalcemia, is a condition of low blood calcium concentration that can affect female dairy breed goats often during the course of the pregnancy. 

Goats are at a increased  risk of milk fever during or immediately following giving birth, during late pregnancy, and at or near the time of peak lactation. It is caused by insufficient calcium intake to meet the increased needs required from the pregnancy.

Goat anatomy

The course of the condition varies from a few hours to a couple of days. The symptoms presented depend on the severity and extent of calcium loss.


Anorexia (loss of appetite
low milk production
Nervous signs (ataxia, hyperactivity,dilated pupils)
Muscle twitching
initially shows high temperature

History - pregnancy
Clinical signs
Physical exam
Blood test


Calcium borogluconate 23% infusions : 60–100 ml SC or slowly IV; followed by subcutaneous injections of calcium solutions and oral supplements. WARNING: If an animal with normal calcium levels is given intravenous calcium treatments it can be fatal to the animal. It is important that there is no doubt that the animal is suffering from milk fever prior to giving additional calcium.


Pregnant goats should have their calcium levels monitored and receive oral dietary supplements of calcium and/or alfalfa hay if needed to help maintain adequate calcium levels throughout the pregnancy.
Anionic salts (minerals high in chloride and sulfur)


Bauer AE, Hubbard KR, Johnson AJ, Messick JB, Weng HY, Pogranichniy RM. A cross sectional study evaluating the prevalence of Coxiella burnetii, potential risk factors for infection, and agreement between diagnostic methods in goats in Indiana. Prev Vet Med. (2016)

S El-Mahallawy H, Kelly P, Zhang J, Yang Y, Wei L, Tian L, Fan W, Zhang Z, Wang C. Serological and molecular evidence of [i]Coxiella burnetii[/i] in samples from humans and animals in China. Ann Agric Environ Med. (2016)

Post a Comment

share your words ...

Last Article Next Article