Veterinary advice should be sought before applying any treatment or vaccine.

Lactation Tetany

Grass Tetany, Hypomagnesemia

Hypomagnesemia, also referred to as lactation tetany, is a life threatening condition of low blood magnesium concentration, which is a common problem for lactating does on spring pasture. Growing kids on milk replacer is a similar condition which is referred to as milk tetany.

A distinguishing characteristic between lactation tetany (low blood magnesium levels) and milk fever (low blood calcium levels) is that goats with lactation tetany will develop muscle spasms. Also, lactation tetany usually occurs during early lactation, as opposed to milk fever which generally occurs during peak lactation.


Severe tetanic muscle spasms


  • History - pregnancy
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Blood test

Treatment Options

Magnesium and calcium solution : Administered intravenously, usually followed by subcutaneous injections of magnesium sulfate solutions and oral magnesium supplements


  • Monitor blood mineral levels throughout pregnancy and lactation stages
  • Provide appropriate oral dietary supplements of magnesium from late pregnancy through early lactation if required, however it should not exceed 0.4% of dry matter.


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