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Table 1 Controlled investigations on the prophylactic effect of oral calcium drenching on milk fever. Preventive effect calculated as percentage reduction in milk fever incidence among treated cows as compared to controls.

From: Milk Fever Control Principles: A Review

Reference Treatment Preventive effect on milk fever1) (MF incidence in experimentals vs. controls, %) Comments
[92] Calcium chloride gel × 4–10
Around 40 g Ca/dose
86%
(7.7 vs. 53.2)
Average effect obtained in seven separate studies. Occational diarrhoea and loss of appetite
[60] Calcium chloride gel × 3–4
54 g Ca/dose
51%
(22.6 vs. 46.6)
More cases of diarrhoea (17% vs. 10%)
[99] Calcium chloride gel × 4–10
36 g Ca/dose
48%
(25.6 vs. 48.8)
More cases of milk fever > 48 hours after calving among treated cows (12.8% vs. 2.4%)
[82] Calcium chloride + calcium sulphate capsule × 4
46 g Ca/dose
73%
(14.6 vs. 54.8)
No side-effects Administration of capsules eliminates the risk of aspiration
[42] Calcium propionate paste × 4
37 g Ca/dose
42%
(29 vs. 50)
No effect on the incidence of milk fever in herds with low milk fever incidence
[75] Calcium chlorid + tricalcium phosphate gel × 4
54 g Ca/dose
58%
(4.9 vs.11.8)
Significantly fewer cases of displaced abomasums (1.0% vs. 7.8%)
[3] Calcium chloride paste × 4
50 g Ca/dose
67%
(14.3 vs. 42.9)
Increased salivation following administration of the paste.
[2] Calcium chloride paste 1 × 3 + 1/2 × 2
50 or 25 g Ca/dose
70%
(10.0 vs. 33.3)
 
[84] Calcium propionate boli × 6
20 g Ca/dose
Calcium chloride in oil × 4
54 g Ca/dose
30%
(25.3 vs. 36.0)
36%
(23.2 vs. 36.0)
Large number of cows (194 experimental cows and 713 control cows)
  1. 1) Preventive effect = 1 - RR = 1 - (incidence rate of milk fever among experimental cows/incidence rate of milk fever among control cows).