Help, My Cow Needs Glucose

Did you know a cow can suffer from low blood sugar?

I never thought about it but was sort of surprised when a couple of ours were being treated.

I asked our amazing herdsman how and why.

If a cow has an injured foot, mastitis, pneumonia or any other ailment that would slow her down and prevent her from eating – that would be a good set up for low blood sugar. If she isn’t eating enough of a proper diet it could cause low blood sugar.

In a herd of 700 how do you find these cows? Well, our cows are all monitored when they come in the parlor and their milk output drastically dropped so the computer sorted them out. When that happened they were brought into the hospital pen area to examine and determine why.

The cows that have low sugar are wobbly, ears down and not looking good.

The urine was tested to determine the diagnosis.

We administered an IV of glucose and drenched them with sugar water. The sugar water is slowly absorbed to help wake up the liver – “say there liver get with it!”

They were treated for two days and were fine – these were considered as clinical low blood sugar.

There is such a thing as chronic - where cows don’t respond to the treatment because their brain just can’t communicate with the liver and get things back in sync. When the liver shuts down, the cow is done.