Grass Tetany

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en Español

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Grass Tetany or Hypomagnesemic Tetany, is the lack of adequate magnesium in the blood of animals. This low concentration of plasma magnesium leads to muscle spasms, convulsions (seizures), respiratory distress, collapse, and, eventually, death. Grass Tetany is caused by inadequate amounts of plasma magnesium in the blood of animals. This dietary requirement of absorbed magnesium is stored and utilized in the animal’s bones and muscles for movement and lactation. Grass Tetany occurs when the magnesium requirement for these actions is not met. Animals constantly lose magnesium through their urine, feces, and milk. To make up for this loss, the animals require a daily ingestion requirement. Grass Tetany occurs when animals have grazed on lush green pastures, which are low in magnesium. It can also occur when high levels of potassium and nitrogen are ingested, such as when fields have been recently fertilized with nitrogen or potassium fertilizers.


To learn more about Grass Tetany, please see the article below. You can also contact Michelle South, Area Extension Agent-Livestock, at 828-733-8270 or by email, michelle_south@ncsu.edu.

Grass Tetany Article