Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Down cow: overview

Synonym(s): Downer cow, recumbency

Contributor(s): Phil Poulton , Kristina Mueller

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Definitions

  • Recumbency is the state of “lying down”.
  • Down cow is defined as a cow that is recumbent and unable to stand.
    • Has no qualifications as to the length of time recumbent or mental state of the cow.
  • Downer cow is a cow that has been recumbent for more than twenty four hours, and is bright and alert.
    • Has qualifications as to the length of time recumbent and mental state of the cow.
  • Downer cow syndrome is the secondary damage following recumbency from any primary cause.
  • This article discusses recumbent cows but the principles are similar for a bovine of any class, sex and age.

Etiology

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Examination

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Diagnosis

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Euthanasia

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Treatment

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Nursing

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Prevention

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Poulton P J, Vizard A V, Anderson G A & Pyman M F (2016) High-quality care improves outcome in recumbent dairy cows. Aust Vet J 94 (6), 173-180 PubMed.
  • Poulton P J, Vizard A V, Anderson G A & Pyman M F (2016) Importance of secondary damage in downer cows. Aust Vet J 94 (5), 138-144 PubMed.
  • Constable P D (2004) Clinical examination of the ruminant nervous system. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract 20, 185-214 PubMed.
  • Clark R G, Henderson H V, Hoggard G K, Ellison R S & Young B J (1987) The ability of biochemical and haematological tests to predict recovery in periparturient recumbent cows. N Z Vet J 35, 126-133 PubMed.
  • Andrews A H (1983) Prognosis in the downer cow syndrome. The Bovine Practitioner 18, 41-43 VetMedResource.
  • Cox V S, McGrath C J & Jorgensen S E  (1982) The role of pressure damage in pathogenesis of the downer cow syndrome. Am J Vet Res 43, 26-31 PubMed.
  • Cox V S (1981) Understanding the downer cow syndrome. Continuing Education Article 3, 472-478.

Other sources of information

  • Dairy Australia (2018) Down cows. [online]. Website: www.dairyaustralia.com.au. Last accessed 11th May 2018.
  • Malmo J, Vermunt J J & Parkinson T J (2010) Metabolic disorders. In: Diseases of cattle in Australasia. Wellington, New Zealand. pp 541-548.
  • Eddy R G (2004) The downer cow. In: Bovine medicine. Diseases and husbandry of cattle. 2nd edn. Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK. pp 797-801.
  • Van Metre D C (2001) Downer cows – diagnosis and assessment. In: Proc. Australian Cattle Veterinarians Conference, Melbourne, Australia. The Australian Veterinary Association, St. Leonards, Australia. pp 14-21.


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