The records of 14 cases of bovine hypokalaemia observed between 1983 and 1996 were reviewed. The most common history included a protracted, often infectious, disease. All age groups were represented. Although previously reported as a risk factor, isoflupredone acetate had not been administered to five of the cases. The following clinical signs were recorded in 10 cases: abnormal position of the head and neck, severe weakness, rumen hypomotility or atony, abnormal faeces, anorexia and tachycardia. Cardiac dysrhythmia was observed in six cases. Acid-base imbalance (alkalosis in 10 cases), hyperglycaemia and increased activities of aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase were associated with hypokalaemia ranging from 1.35 to 2.49 mmol/litre. Treatments included symptomatic treatment, supportive care and potassium chloride given intravenously and orally at an average total daily dose of 42 g/100 kg bodyweight (26 g by mouth and 16 g intravenously) for an average of five days. Eleven cases recovered after an average of three days.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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