A nonalert downer cow appears systemically sick and depressed. Downer cow syndrome also describes the pathology of pressure-induced muscle and nerve. A recumbent cow is often described as being ‘down’ and when it has been recumbent for a prolonged period as a ‘downer cow’. There are many causes of a . Downer Cow Syndrome. • Definition: Any cow that remains in sternal recumbency for more than 24 hours after initial recumbency, and after treatment for primary.

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However, if this posture is to be maintained, the limb on which the animal has been lying should be drawn from under the body.

Sand is the ideal bedding material. Acetonaemia Fatty Liver Rumen Acidosis. Cow should not be mated with a heavy bull. Helping the cow downrr On every day of the recumbency, an attempt should be made to bring the cow to its feet.

Protection from the elements is essential. Dower every day of the recumbency, an attempt should be made to bring the cow to its feet. Otherwise there is risk of paralysis and fracture of hip bones.

Well fed highly obesed cows during later part of pregnancy very often suffer from a condition known as fat cow syndrome which predispose to downer condition. It is simply a cow that on examination ought to rise but doesn’t. The so-called manure pack provides good footing but also may soil the skin with urine and manure. There may be of low blood potassium level.

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There is low phosphorus level. Provision of comfortable bedding materials for recumbent animals. Rain and wind can reduce body temperature considerably and worsen shock if present. More seriously, the risk of mastitis resulting from the contaminated environment is very high.

If the cow struggles and scrapes the wet manure, exposing concrete, more manure must be added. Skin, Eyes and Feet.


The weight dowber the bull should be within the weight bearing capacity of the cow. This is often seen in association with hypophosphataemia.

Following parturient paresis a cow may develop downer syndrome due to nerve injuries and over stretching of nerves or due to pressure on nerves while in recumbency.

NADIS – National Animal Disease Information Service

Welfare considerations Although a cow may rise after being recumbent for 14 days, this does not imply that a cow should be left for this period.

Supporting the downer cow It is vital that recumbent cows be provided with clean water at all times. Even if the cow does not stand, the lifted position provides an opportunity to manipulate the limbs, auscultate for crepitation, and perform vaginal and rectal examinations.

Downer cows are unable to rise after two injections of calcium preparation indicating persistant hypocalcaemia. Lateral coe must be corrected immediately to avoid regurgitation and inspiration of stomach contents. Affected animals remain bright and alert but are unable to stand.

Although a cow may rise after being recumbent for 14 days, this does not imply that a cow should be left for this period. This type of stance is ascribed as “creeper cow” A downer cow which continues to remain down for more than 7 days ends fatally.

Lettuce and cabbage leaves are accepted by some cows. This should be doener several times a day. The cow should be bred with a bull as per its size as a big calf in a small cow will invite dystokia problem leading to calving paralysis.

Cow should be turned at least at 3 hours interval. Downeg the blood mineral status is an important part of downer cow management. Recently calved animals should be monitored at least 48 hours after parturition for the occurrence of milk fever signs. This usually drains well, and good hygiene can be maintained if the manure is removed several times each day. cod


So long as the cow looks bright, occasionally struggles to rise, and continues to sybdrome and drink, recovery is a possibility. At least 10 in. Cow should be made to stand within a short time following parturition. Dermatitis can result, and comfort of the cow is reduced. The affected cow usually crawls around utilizing ysndrome forelimbs whereas hind limbs remain in flexed position. Physiotherapy by adopting muscle massage may be made to restore muscle activity of the limbs.

If this is not done, the weight of the cow results in ischemia in the muscles of the hindlimb. In extreme cases, the cow can be drenched with rumen contents. We should provide most comfortable bedding prior to calving and in advanced stage of pregnancy. However, if the cow becomes listless, shows no interest in feed, or has decubital dlwner or starts to lose condition, slaughter on humane grounds must be considered irrespective of how long she has been recumbent.

Massaaging the legs Sling support.

Support eg, straw bale placed under the shoulder may be required for some animals to maintain sternal recumbency. In one syndroome, the clinician stands with feet pressed under the cow at a point below the scapulohumeral joint.

A low level of blood magnesium has been incriminated as cause but synddome may develop along with low level of calcium. A shallow rubber feed bowl prevents spillage. Straw bedding should be provided to help insulate the cow from the ground. This is frequently met in exotic and cross bred dairy cows.

Arrangement of soft bed should be made. Low calcium and high phosphorus diet should be given to stimulate parathyroid gland and thus to avoid hypocalcaemia.