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Farm Animal Practice
Assessment and management of the recumbent cow
  1. Jon Huxley

    Jon Huxley qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1995. After a year as farm animal house officer at Bristol veterinary school, and three years in farm animal practice in Wrexham, he returned to Bristol to complete a PhD on bovine mastitis, and then remained there as a lecturer in farm animal medicine. He has recently become associate professor of farm animal production medicine at the Nottingham school of veterinary medicine and science. He divides his time equally between research, teaching and clinical work. He holds the RCVS diploma in cattle health and production and the European diploma in bovine health management


DOWN cows can be some of the most difficult and frustrating bovine cases to manage. Any veterinary surgeon who has spent time in farm animal practice will recall down cows that refuse to stand despite declarations of a positive prognosis. Conversely, there are animals that, in spite of the veterinary surgeon's assertions that the case is completely hopeless and should be euthanased, rise apparently effortlessly to their feet after five days or more. This article reviews the aetiology, assessment, management and prevention of recumbency in cattle against the backdrop of decreasing availability of farm labour and staff time to manage cases and the recent end of the over‐30‐months slaughter scheme.

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