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Discussion Starter #1
In a couple of other posts some have speculated MCD may have been around for a long time in that old timer dairymen talk about 'staggers'. In fact, I remember my father, who was a dairy farmer at one time, mentioning having to kill a promising cow because of it. MCD? Probably not.

According to the Merek's Vet Manual and Caring for Livestock: A veterinary Handbook by Jaime Isaac Reibel, similar symptoms in cattle and sheep can be caused by a worm/parasite infestation.

Reibel attributes it to bladderworms which have found their way to the brain, "In the case of gid, or staggers, a bladderworm infestation of the brain tissue of sheep and cattle, the animal may lose its coordination and stumble around, as well as lose it appetite and eventually waste away."

Merek's is, of course, far more technical, referring to it also as sturdy under the heading of Cestodes: "In fully developed coenurus may be 5-6 cm in diameter and cause increased intracranial pressure resulting in ataxia, hypermetria, blindness, head deviation, stumbling and paralysis."

Perhaps all these needed was a regular deworming (internal parasites in general) routine.

Ken S. in WC TN
 

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I thought staggers was the same thing as grass tetany....

Jena
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Different things have different names regionally. For example, locally a species of panfish are called 'crappie'. Other places, such as Florida, they are 'speckled perch'. Grass Tetany would affect the hoofs, so a cow with it would have an unsteady walk.

Ken S. in WC TN
 

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Grass tetany can cause staggering, not just hoof problems. When i do a search for staggers, the only thing I find is related to a mag imbalance, usually from grass.

http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/animaldisease/g32.htm

Of course, there are lots of other disease, including a high fever, which can cause cattle to stagger or be uncoordinated.

Jena
 
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