Species: Cattle and sheep
Specimens: Serum or eye fluid (in recently dead cows or sheep)
Optimum number of animals to test for mob/herd/flock: 8-10
General information about the test:
Magnesium is a stable element. Magnesium deficiency occurs most frequently in dairy and beef cattle in the late winter and spring period. This deficiency can be due to a combination of low magnesium and high potassium in spring pasture, the application of slurry to pasture and nutritional stress. A variety of clinical signs may be observed in a deficient herd from peracute (found dead) to chronic (unthrifty cows with and udder oedema). An increased incidence of milk fever and reduced milk yield can indicate subclinical hypomagnesaemia in a herd. Wet cold days and the pasture is wet and lush may precipitate attacks as cows will have lower intakes of pasture. Clinical hypomagnesaemia also occurs in sheep – the causes are similar to those seen in cattle.
- Cattle – Supplied with results
- Sheep – Adequate 0.74 -1.15 mmol/L
- Eye fluid – Adequate > 0.6 mmol/L