S.A.D Cow Management

Cows should be observed very closely in the post calving period and any that are Sick and Depressed (SAD cows), need special care and attention.

SAD cow symptoms include any of the following:

  • sunken eyes
  • dull coat
  • hollow gut
  • droopy ears
  • rapid condition loss 

These cows will not do well in the main herd where they have to walk long distances and compete for food and space. Instead they will do better to return to or remain in the colostrum mob until they are fully better. The key to getting better is getting back to maximum rumination. This is achieved once the cow is eating properly and the gut is wider than the udder. This could take up to 2 weeks for some cows but she will perform better over the season if given the chance to recover rather than left in the herd to grumble along.

Cows at highest risk of S.A.D cow syndrome

Any of the following conditions should mean this cow is carefully watched in the 2 weeks post calving:

  • Difficult or rotten calving
  • Twins
  • RFM's (retained foetal membranes) 
  • Downer cows
  • Very fat or very thin cows at calving (<BCS 3.5, > BCS 6)
  • Facial eczema damage previous season
  • Mastitis or Metritis (any infection)

S.A.D cow treatment protocol

  1. Leave in colostrum mob and milk OAD or not at all if really severe 
  2. Look for and treat any underlying conditions eg. mastitis, metritis, milk fever etc.
  3. Give Ketol/MPG -  500ml daily for first 3 days
  4. Give ad lib food - take it to them if necessary
  5. Give weekly plain B12 injections—10-20ml/dose
  6. Call the vet if you can find no obvious condition to treat or there is no response to your efforts 

Only allow the cow to return to the main herd when you are confident she is eating properly and her gut fill is wider than her udder