Effects of a SG-extract on milkfever presented at scientific congress
Interview with Martina Meyer-Binzegger
End of August animal nutritionists and researchers met at the EAAP 2021 in Davos. The 4th day conference focused on Scientific solutions to different demands on the livestock sector. One of the oral presentations was held by Martina Meyer-Binzegger. She is a practicing veterinarian in Switzerland. In her doctoral thesis Martina was working with a bolus developed by Herbonis. The aim of the project was to examine the effects of this bolus on the prevention of milk fever (hypocalcemia) in dairy cows.
„As a veterinarian it is the most satisfying if we are able, through medical innovation such as this oral bolus, to improve animal welfare and reduce cost for the farmers at the same time.“
Why did you choose this topic for your inaugural dissertation?
As a practicing vet I have often encountered hypocalcemia in the field and saw the effects on the cows and how it affected the farmers. Existing treatment options and prevention measures are complex and often dependent of each other. Understanding the calcium metabolism of the cow and how the existing options intervene in this cycle is fundamental in offering the best veterinary service for the cow and the farmer. The new oral treatment with the active metabolite 1,25(OH)2D3 is a good additional option to do more in the prevention of hypocalcemia in dairy cows.
What did you do and what are the key findings?
We had two trials. In the first trial we analyzed the pharmacokinetics of the bolus containing the active metabolite 1,25(OH)2D3 in dry dairy cows and in the second experiment we observed the effects of the chosen bolus on cows during calving in comparison to a placebo. We found that the effect of the 1,25(OH)2D3 on serum Calcium started from 12 hours after bolus application and lasted for 11 days. As the risk for hypocalcemia is highest in the first two days after calving, this new bolus could be applicated between 9 days to 12 hours prior calving. The actual calving date in cows is not easy to determine, so this application window is about 2 days wider than the existing application of Vitamin D3 products ante-partum.
Martina Meyer-Binzegger at the EAAP 2021 in Davos, Switzerland
Do you see any practical relevance of this work?
Yes, hypocalcemia is one of the most prevalent metabolic disorder in cows and has a large impact on animal welfare and farm economics. As this product will be the first oral applicable active metabolite of Vitamin D3, which means that it doesn't have to be hydroxylated anywhere in the body, thus increase of serum Ca is quicker and lasts for 11 days. As a veterinarian it is the most satisfying if we are able, through medical innovation such as this oral bolus, to improve animal welfare and reduce cost for the farmers at the same time.