Grass tetany in cattle - treatment and prevention


This Primefact is one of three Primefacts on grass tetany. This Primefact deals mainly with treatment and prevention. Primefact 420 focuses on the causes of the disorder. Primefact 785 examines some ways to predict the likelihood of the disorder occurring.

Grass tetany is a metabolic disorder of cattle, responsible for cow losses amounting to $3m–$5m annually in the Albury, Wagga Wagga and Gundagai Rural Lands Protection Board areas, now Local Land Services (Rural Lands Protection Board survey 1993–94).

The disorder is prevalent on the northern, central and southern tablelands and slopes areas, but also occurs elsewhere. This Primefact discusses:

  • the cause of grass tetany;
  • low magnesium intake;
  • poor magnesium storage in the animal;
  • interference from other minerals;
  • stress;
  • symptoms;
  • treatment;
  • prevention: supplementation of magnesium;
  • other methods of administering magnesium;
  • management strategies.


Primefact 421 First Edition

Published: Apr 2009