HYPOCALCEMIA IN DAIRY COWS OF FAMILY AGRICULTURE
Abstract The objective of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of hypocalcemia associated or not to hypomagnesemia in dairy cows of family farming properties. Were evaluated 22 cows, Jersey, Dutch and Jersolando breeds, during the transition period, from small family farming properties, with average 12 L/milk/day production. The concentration of serum total calcium and magnesium was determined by colorimetric methodology and calculation of ionized calcium estimated from the serum concentrations of total calcium, protein and albumin. Hipocalcemia was observed in 50% of the animals in prepartum (8.2 ± 1, 4 mg/dL) and 63.6% postpartum (7.7 ± 1.7 mg/dL). The reduction of ionized calcium was less frequent, with many of the animals presenting estimated ionized calcium within the normal range, averaging 4.6 ± 0.83 mg/dL in the prepartum and 4.3 ± 1.0 mg/dL in the postpartum. All animals presented concentrations of serum magnesium within normality, excluding hypomagnesemia. The average concentration of magnesium in the partum was 2.4 ± 0.3 mg/dL with significant elevation (p < 0.05) in postpartum to 2.7 ± 0.5 mg/dL. We concluded that dairy cows in the family agriculture are susceptible to hypocalcemia, and the absence of clinical signs may be relacionated with the maintenance of ionized calcium concentration into normal range, associeted with absence of hypomagnesemia.