Article Text

Field trial to determine the efficacy of two doses of 1 alpha-hydroxycholecalciferol in the prevention of milk fever
  1. MJ Vagg,
  2. WM Allen,
  3. DC Davies,
  4. BF Sansom,
  5. HJ Edwards,
  6. JM Pott and
  7. CJ Riley


The efficacy of 1 alpha-hydroxycholecalciferol (1 alpha-HCC) for the prevention of milk fever has been tested in a controlled field trial using a total of 601 cows on 18 farms with a history of a high incidence of milk fever. The trial protocol proposed two doses of 1 alpha-HCC with the first injection seven days before the predicted calving date and a second injection five to seven days later if the cow had not calved. Of 301 cows receiving either one or two injections of 1 alpha-HCC, 70 had milk fever, and of 300 cows that received a placebo, 102 had milk fever. The difference in incidence between the two groups was statistically significant (P = 0.005) and indicated an overall efficacy of 32 per cent for treatment with 1 alpha-HCC. An improved efficacy was demonstrated in 67 cows that received two injections of 1 alpha-HCC with the second injection administered either on the day of calving or one day previously (60 per cent efficacy). For 42 cows that received a single injection of 1 alpha-HCC between two and five days before calving an efficacy of 79 per cent was achieved.

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