Common Diseases Caused by Malnutrition

Retained Placenta

This is where the afterbirth is retained, it can lead to infertility.  It has been found that cows that have retained the placenta, are deficient in vitamins A and D and selenium (see below).  To prevent this it is important to mainly a balance diet.

Vitamin D

Hypocalcaemia (Milk Fever)

This is caused by a large calcium demand at the start of milk production.  The cow may not be able meet this demand due to ration imbalance or vitamin D influence.  A range of problems can occur, such as: Staggering, inability to rise, muscular weakness and high temperature.  As well as more serious problems, for example: Difficulty calving due to muscular weakness, uterine infection, risk of developing mastitis and decreased milk production.

Other Important Minerals

Calcium and phosphorous imbalance can also be a problem for dairy cattle.  Vitamin A and E and selenium are important to maintain the cow’s immune system.  Vitamin A is required for control of growth, cell turnover and foetal development, maintenance of fertility, maintenance of the normal moist condition of epithelial tissues lining the mouth and respiratory and urinary tracts, it is also essential in vision.  Vitamin E has antioxidant properties and stabilises cell membranes.  Selenium also acts as an antioxidant.

  Retinol (Vitamin A)

Vitamin E