milk fever

noun
1.
Pathology. fever coinciding with the beginning of lactation, formerly believed to be due to lactation but really due to infection.
2.
Veterinary Pathology. an acute disorder of calcium metabolism affecting dairy cows shortly after calving, causing somnolence and paralysis of the hind legs.

Origin:
1750–60

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World English Dictionary
milk fever
 
n
1.  a fever that sometimes occurs shortly after childbirth, once thought to result from engorgement of the breasts with milk but now thought to be caused by infection
2.  vet science parturient fever, Also called: eclampsia a disease of cows, goats, etc, occurring shortly after parturition, characterized by low blood calcium levels, paralysis, and loss of consciousness

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

milk fever n.
A slight elevation of temperature following childbirth, possibly due to the establishment of the secretion of milk.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

milk fever

in cattle, a disorder characterized by abnormally low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia). It occurs in cows most commonly within three days after they have calved, at a time when the cow's production of milk has put a severe strain on its calcium stores. High-producing dairy cattle are especially susceptible. The early signs include loss of appetite and depression or restlessness, followed by muscle weakness and spasms of the hindlegs. In acute cases generalized paresis and apparent coma occur, followed by circulatory collapse and death. The death rate in untreated animals may run as high as 90 percent. Fever is not a sign in this disorder. The most effective treatment is the intravenous injection of calcium gluconate, upon which the animal makes a speedy recovery. There is no effective means of preventing parturient paresis, but modern treatment methods have made deaths from it a rarity in the developed nations. A variety of dietary modifications and supplements have been tried with only moderate success in prevention of the disease.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Feeding acidogenic diets prior to calving has repeatedly been shown to significantly reduce the risk of milk fever.
Proper rations can also help prevent milk fever, a disease whose incidence increases at the fifth or sixth lactation.
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