Prevent milk fever in dairy cows

Prevention of the peri-parturient drop in blood Ca2+ in dairy cows strongly reduces the prevalence of (sub-) clinical milk fever.

Background on the challenge

At the onset of lactation in dairy cows, the calcium requirement for milk production increases drastically. If the cow cannot meet these increased calcium requirements via intake, or calcium mobilization from bone, the ionized calcium content increases in blood drops, which might result in hypocalcaemia or milk fever. This incidence is generally higher in multiparous dairy cows, as the reduction in the serum ionized calcium content is generally much bigger after calving than in primiparous cows. The smaller decline results in subclinical milk fever, which is often not detected, but it increases the risk of retained placenta, abomasal displacement, and ketosis. Clinical milk fever, on the other hand, is life-threatening and needs immediate treatment.

The implication for the industry

A serum Ca content of approx. 1.5 - 2 mmol/L results in subclinical milk fever, which affects up to 50% of highly productive multiparous cows, and 25% of primiparous cows. The economic consequence is substantial, taking up to 40% of clinical cases, due to production losses and vet treatment. Prevention is generally based on reduced dietary cation-anion difference or increased Ca supply via a rumen bolus inserted before parturition. Alternative options might be focused on the increase of the efficacy of Ca absorption and utilization via a bolus that contains 1,25(OH)2D3-glycosides as Solanum glaucophyllum leaves or the extract.

  • fast time to action

  • improves Ca-metabolism

  • reduced milk fever

Panbonis® is a complementary feed that contains a standardized level of 1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol-glycosides (1,25(OH)2D3-gly) from dried and ground Solanum glaucophyllum leaves. 1,25(OH)2D3-gly can only be absorbed after the sugar molecule is released from 1,25(OH)2D3 by specific enzymes that are present in the intestine. This is a gradual process, ensuring a slow release of the bioactive component. Once it is absorbed, it does not need additional activation steps, like vitamin D3 or 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D3) do, which means that Panbonis® can directly support the animal even in periods when specific activation enzymes in liver and kidney are limited.

Adding Panbonis® via a slow-release rumen bolus supports the Ca-metabolism of dairy cows around parturition and reduces the risk of milk fever.

  • Supports the crucial role of vitamin D3

  • 100% Natural

  • GMO-free

  • Standardized content of the active ingredient

  • Gradually absorbed from the intestine

  • Considered a complementary feed in the EU

  • High processing and storage stability

Mode of action

Vitamin D3 needs to conversion steps to become metabolically active. The first step happens in the liver, where vitamin D3 is converted to 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH). 25(OH) is the storage form of vitamin D3 and gives a good indication on the vitamin D3 status of the animal. The second activation step happens in the kidney, where the 25(OH) is converted into 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (1,25(OH)2D3). 1,25(OH)2D3 then interacts with the vitamin D3 receptor (VDR), which is – among others – located in the gut cells. There, 1,25(OH)2D3 increases the expression of Calbindin, a Ca-binding protein in the cell that transports the Ca from the gut to the blood. When providing Panbonis®, which naturally contains 1,25(OH)2D3-gly, only the glycosides need to be cleaved by endogenous enzymes and the free 1,25(OH)2D3 can be absorbed and is directly available at the site of Ca-absorption.

Ruminant – Vitamin D Metabolism

Trial results

Inserting a bolus with Solanum glaucophyllum leaves before calving significantly reduced the number of cows with a blood serum Ca content of less than 2 mmol/L, which was linked to an increase in blood serum 1,25(OH)2D3.

Source: a trial at ALP (in press)

Our solution Panbonis®
  • fast time to action
  • improves Ca-metabolism
  • reduced milk fever