Dear Editor, This letter is in response to a recent article in your magazine, “Make educated choice on transition cows’ calcium deliver” in the Feb. 25th edition. We would like to clarify some information on oral calcium drenches.
We were one of the first companies to develop an oral calcium chloride drench. The Feb. 25th article makes mention of oral calcium products being “caustic and bitter.” When these oral products first came out, they were considered irritable and bitter.
Since then, we have made improvements on drench products’ palatability and taste so the cow will accept the liquid better. Our original drenches were able to raise calcium levels back to normal on hypocalcemic cows in 15 minutes.
Our improved palatability and taste drenches were tested many times and achieve the same results. In fact, we can give multiple doses (three to four doses) per day and still not burn the cow’s throat. This makes the drench much easier to administer.
According to Dr. Jesse Goff, calcium drench absorption into the omasum and abomasum is made possible by the slight irritation of the nerve ends in the mouth that closes the esophageal groove, which is on top of the rumen.
This directs the solution into the omasum and the abomasum, the “true” stomach, where absorption takes place immediately. This is the same principle that directs colostrum into the abomasum for quick absorption rather than directing it into the rumen, which gives slow results.
By getting fast results, you are changing the hypocalcemic cow back to normal calcium levels, which will cause her to eat and replace minerals she lost at calving, especially calcium.
We recommend one dose after calving, then follow up with one dose a day for two more days. This will cost less with good results. This method of calcium absorption was not explained in the article.
As for aspiration pneumonia occurring with drenches, we cannot completely stop it; however, we have lowered the number dramatically with the use of our patented drench gun, which is made in the U.S.
When done properly, it works great.You place the nozzle of the gun between the cheek and the teeth and pull the trigger; the solution goes in slow. You can slow it down, but you can’t speed it up.
One of the reasons we developed this spring-loaded drench gun is because a lot of our clients were unable to squeeze the gun to force it into the mouth. This product stopped the flooding in the back of the mouth, making it safer to use. PD
Veterinarian and founder – Dr. Register & Associates