Press Bulletin No. 21.
(BY DR. CHASE. F. DAWSON, STATION VETEINARIAN.)
Parturient paralysis is a disease peculiar to the cow,
and is known by several other names, viz; milk fever,
calving fever, parturient collapse, parturient apoplexy,
parturient fever. It is to be distinguished from true
parturient fever or septic infection in the parturient
state. It is quite common in dairying districts, and a
fatal termination is not infrequent. It occurs oftenest
in the graded, plethoric, stall-fed cow at, just before, or
within a:day or two after calving. Most dairymen are
familiar with the symptoms. These first manifest them-
selves in a swaying unsteady gait, dropping of the head,
refusing the calf, stamping the feet and whisking the
tail. These are followed by a partial paralysis in the
April 15th, 1902.
hind quarters and the animal goes down, resting on her
breast bone, with the head sleepily pointing to the right
flank, or, if the case is a severe one, she will lie stretched
out with head extended, though at times it may be raised
and dashed back upon the ground. In some cases there
is fever, in others, none. Although it is believed the
disease is caused by heavy feeding prior to calving, it is
not known that any particular feed, excepting the high-
ly concentrated ones, predispose to it. Although the
disease was formerly one of the most difficult for the
veterinarian to treat, we now have a method which cures
such a large percentage of cases that we claim specific
powers for it.
A case in point: A large plethoric cow, best milker
on the Station, breed uncertain, calved Sunday morning
normally. Monday morning she was found down, in the
hammock pasture. As it was raining heavily, it was de-
cided to get her under cover. A sled was constructed,
and she was placed upon it and dragged to the barn.
The udder was washed with soap and water, milked out,
and then bathed with a 5% solution of carbolic acid.
Two drams of the iodide of potassium were then dis-
solved in one pint of boiling water. The solution was
allowed to cool to the body temperature and one-fourth
of the solution was injected into each teat. During the
day the animal showed signs of improvement. The next
morning she was able to stand and get around some. On
the third day she left the stall and grazed. The milk
was discarded for a few days, but soon became normal in
amount and quality.
Although some advise drenching with salts to clear
the bowels, I can condemn the practice. In the case cited
here, it was only by the timely injection of a strong
stimulant hypodermically that the animal was aroused
from collapse caused by an attempt to drench her. The
safer plan is to give enemas of oil, glycerine, or soapy
water, and to empty the bladder by catheter or by in-
serting the finger in the bladder tube.
In cases where the animal does' not show signs of
improvement in eight hours, the dose of iodide of potas-
sium should be repeated. In every case the udder should
be kneaded during the injection to aid in the dispersion
of the medicine. The animal should be placed in a dry
bed, covered with blankets, and allowed plenty of water
as soon as she will drink.
The apparatus to apply the treatment (Schmidts')
consists simply of a 8-inch glass funnel, with four feet of
one-fourth inch maroon or black rubber tubing attached,
and carrying in its other end an ordinary milk-tube.
The apparatus should be boiled just before using, and is
to be kept free of dust during the operation. It is kept
in stock by John Reynders & Co., 808 Fourth Avenue,
New York, and is listed at $1.25. The medicine, iodide
of potassium, can be obtained at any drugstore.
" State papers please copy or notice.