Changing dietary cation-anion balance (DCAB) of dry pregnant cow has an effect on mineral metabolism during the puerperal period. Changing DCAB may also have an effect on udder oedema. Risen DCAB may cause more severe udder oedema and lowering DCAB may reduce it. Usually the DCAB of the diet is on the level 50 300 mEq/kg KA. In the present study, the main purpose was to study the incidence of udder oedema when cows were fed on the different DCAB levels of the diet, and especially on the level which may have meaning prevention of parturient paresis. Udder oedema was evaluated by two methods, quantitative measurement of vertical length and horizontal width of the hindquarters of udder and subjective evaluation in which oedema was scored using a 5-point scale. In the present study, the quantitative method to evaluate udder oedema was researched. Cows were divided into groups by parity and the experimental diet. Cows with two calvings and cows with more than two calvings formed their own groups. DCAB levels were +107 mEq/kg dry matter (DM), +298 mEq/ kg DM, and +571 mEq/kg DM in the first experiment and +254 mEq/kg DM and –41 mEq/kg DM in the second experiment. Only minor oedema was noted in both experiments. The parity affected significantly (p<0.05) udder oedema in both experiments but experimental diets had no effect. Lowering DCAB to the level -41 mEq/kg DM using salts of chlorine and sulphur does not increase the risk of udder oedema. Because the quantitative evaluation method was not very accurate the effect of risen DCAB on udder oedema was difficult to assess. Cows with more than two calvings had more severe oedema in two weeks post partum than the younger cows. The quantitative evaluation method was time consuming and incorrect method to evaluate udder oedema.
In Finland, veterinarians have the right to buy medicines for veterinary use from medicinal wholesalers. The amount and selection of human medicinal products bought by veterinarians in year 2000 from wholesalers was investigated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Ministry is the competent authority responsible for supervising the veterinarians in Finland. The quantities of medicines were calculated as the amount of active substance or as DDD-units (defined daily doses). According to the survey, veterinarians buy considerable amounts of antimicrobial drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs for treatment of peptic ulcer, anti-asthmatic drugs, hormonal contraceptives and drugs affecting nervous system (psycholeptics and psychoanaleptics) authorised for humans. Some of the products have a clear indication and need for use in veterinary medicine, but the data indicate that some of the drugs are also used for other purposes than veterinary medicinal use.