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Two cows, 1 with diarrhea and 1 with signs of forestomach outflow obstruction, were treated in part with repeated doses of a commercially available antacid/cathartic preparation containing magnesium hydroxide. Both cows subsequently were determined to have hypermagnesemia, along with severe metabolic alkalosis. In addition, each cow was comatose at the time of death. A clinical study was initiated to investigate the causal relationship between the ingestion of magnesium hydroxide and the generation of hypermagnesemia and metabolic alkalosis in adult cows.

Twelve healthy mature cross bred beef cows were allotted at random to a fed or fasted (simulated anorexia) group, with 2 untreated and 4 treated cows in each group. A single dose of magnesium hydroxide (1.5 g/kg of body weight, suspended in 3.8 L of warm water) was administered per os to each treated cow, whereas each control cow was given only water. Individual determinations of selected venous blood gas values (plasma bicarbonate ion [HCO3 ] concentration and base excess [be]), serum magnesium (Mg) concentration, and urine magnesium fractional clearance ratio (Mg-fcr) were made immediately before drug administration, and at 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, and 36 hours after treatment.

Compared with control values at the conclusion of the study, mean serum Mg concentration, urine Mg-fcr, plasma HCO3 concentration, and be were significantly higher (P = 0.0001, P = 0.0015, P = 0.028, and P = 0.021, respectively) in treated cows. Throughout the study, serum Mg concentration and urine Mg-fcr in the cows increased linearly, independent of diet, whereas the increase in mean plasma HCO3 concentration and be over time did not develop a well-defined response pattern because of a substantial diet-treatment-time interaction during the first 12 hours after treatment.

It was concluded that oral administration of magnesium hydroxide has an adverse effect on serum Mg concentration and acid-base balance in healthy fasted or fed cows. Therefore, veterinarians should be aware of potential metabolic alkalosis and considerable increase in the magnesium load in the blood of cattle as side effects of higher than recommended orally administered doses of magnesium hydroxide.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To develop an economic model for comparing cost-effectiveness of medical and surgical treatment versus replacement of beef bulls with preputial prolapse.


Economic analysis.

Sample Population

Estimates determined from medical records of bulls treated for preputial prolapse at our hospital and from information about treatment of bulls published elsewhere.


Annual depreciation cost for treatment (ADCT) and replacement (ADCR) were calculated. Total investment for an injured bull equaled the sum of salvage value, maintenance cost, and expected cost of the treatment option under consideration. Total investment for a replacement bull was purchase price. Net present value of cost was calculated for each year of bull use. Sensitivity analyses were constructed to determine the value that would warrant treatment of an injured bull.


The decision to treat was indicated when ADCT was less than ADCR. In our example, it was more cost-effective for owners to cull an injured bull. The ADCR was $97 less than ADCT for medical treatment ($365 vs $462) and $280 less than ADCT for surgical treatment ($365 vs $645). Likewise, net present value of cost values indicated that it was more cost-effective for owners to cull an injured bull. Sensitivity analysis indicated treatment decisions were justified on the basis of replacement value or planned number of breeding seasons remaining for the bull.

Clinical Implications

The model described here can be used by practitioners to provide an objective basis to guide decision making of owners who seek advice on whether to treat or replace bulls with preputial prolapse. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:856–859)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate the feasibility for Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) to enter the continental United States by various routes as well as to identify states in which domestic and wild ruminant and human populations would be most vulnerable to exposure to RVFV.

Study Design—Pathways analysis.

Sample Population—Animals, commodities, and humans transported from RVFV-endemic countries to the continental United States between 2000 and 2005.

Procedures—Initially, agent, host, and environmental factors important in the epidemiologic aspects of RVFV were used to develop a list of potential pathways for release of RVFV into the continental United States. Next, the feasibility of each pathway was evaluated by use of data contained in governmental and public domain sources. Finally, entry points into the continental United States for each feasible pathway were used to identify the domestic and wild ruminant and human populations at risk for exposure to RVFV.

Results—Feasible pathways for entry of RVFV into the continental United States were importation of RVFV-infected animals, entry of RVFV-infected people, mechanical transport of RVFV-infected insect vectors, and smuggling of live virus.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Domestic ruminant livestock, ruminant wildlife, and people in 14 states (Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia) appeared to be most vulnerable to exposure to RVFV. Pathways analysis can provide the requisite information needed to construct an effective targeted surveillance plan for RVFV to enable rapid detection and response by animal health and public health officials.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association