Hypomagnesaemic tetany was induced in non-lactating and lactating ewes by feeding them semi-synthetic low magnesium diets containing additional potassium chloride and citric acid. Aqueous and vitreous humour were sampled from one eye at the time of death (fresh) and from the second eye after the head had been stored at ambient temperature for 24 hours (24.hour). There were significant relationships between the concentrations of magnesium in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma and its concentrations in fresh aqueous humour and fresh vitreous humour. Magnesium concentrations of <0.33 mmol/litre in fresh aqueous humour and <0.50 mmol/litre in 24.hour aqueous humour were associated with severe hypomagnesaemia and tetany. However, the concentration of magnesium in aqueous humour is relatively unstable and, unless the time of death was known accurately, its interpretation would be difficult. Magnesium concentrations of <0.60 mmol/litre in fresh vitreous humour and <0.65 mmol/litre in 24-hour vitreous humour were associated with severe hypomagnesaemia and tetany in adult sheep. The concentration of magnesium in vitreous humour was relatively stable for up to 48 hours postmortem.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.