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General information

Cattle are hardy animals for the most part and can live outside happily but do appreciate shelter of some kind even if only a thick hedge to act as a wind break. Some part of the field or pasture should be dry underfoot so that the animal can stand in comfort, for long periods if necessary. Clean fresh water should be readily available. It is important that noxious weeds such as ragwort and bracken should be pulled up and be removed before they flower if possible. 

Length of pregnancy 270 – 280 days 

Specific diseases and conditions 

Acetonaemia (ketosis, slow fever)

This condition is mostly associated with recently calved, housed high producing dairy cow’s fed mainly on a concentrate diet. It is related to a negative energy balance due to inadequate energy intake, leading to hypoglycaemia (shortage of blood sugar).

Main symptoms

Digestive or wasting form sharp drop in milk yield loss of appetite for concentrate feed and rapid falling of condition, dullness and debility, obvious sweet smell of acidosis on the breath (pear drops).

Nervous form sudden onset, extreme nervousness with excitability, trembling, excessive licking of skin and the sides of pen, boards and railings, salivation, circling, head pressing, blindness and in-coordination.

Intravenous therapy with glucose solutions may be necessary to promote recovery. 

Main remedies for digestive form - because of its strong affinity with the liver

Lycopodium 30c – dose once daily for up to 10 days

Nux Vomica 30c – once daily for 5 to 7 days. Follow lycopodium well and helps restore liver function 

Main remedies for early stages of nervous form –

Aconite 6c or 30c – dose hourly up to 4 doses.

Cicuta virosa 6c – dose every 1 to 2 hours up to 4 doses then three times daily for up to 3 to 4 days if improving. 


Bloat (Ruminal Tympany)

Bloat of any kind is serious and can be life threatening and a vet must be called who may need to insert a trocar and cannula into left side of body to release the gas. 

Primary bloat – gaseous bloat due to sudden excessive production of gas, can occur, when animals are turned out on lush pasture, and allowed to graze for too long.

 Frothy bloat (mixture of gas and froth) occurs if animal eats too much concentrate food or if a change pf diet is too sudden for the rumen to cope with. The rumen is a large organ containing a mixture of up to 40 gallons (180 litres) of fermenting semi-liquid food and bacteria and needs 1 to 2 weeks to adapt to a complete change of diet.

Secondary bloat – this type of bloat is usually gaseous and happens if there is a physical obstruction in the gullet such as a potato, or a piece of apple etc, or possibly a cessation of ruminal movements due to an underlying condition or recumbency. 

Main symptoms

A swelling which may vary from slight to very apparent develops in the left flank behind the last rib. It usually appears quite rapidly and noticeable when standing behind the animal. in severe cases, the gas filled rumen pushes the intestines over to the right and there may be a swelling on both sides of the body. The animal with show signs of discomfort, there may be grunting, groaning and gasping, and the animal may get up and down with signs of colic (looking at the flank and kicking at them), the animal may also strain and pass small amounts of dung and belch at the same time. 


For acute cases Colchicum 30c dose every 15 to 20 mins for 4 to 6 doses. 

Frothy bloat, especially if occurs soon after eating Antimonium Crud 6c dose hourly for 4 to 6 doses then four times daily for a day or two if improving. 

For less acute cases or if there are indications of toxaemia, also valuable if there are signs of collapse Carbo Veg 6c dose hourly for 4 to 6 doses, then 3 to 4 times daily until improved. 

For less acute, chronic bloat usually resulting from a digestive upset of some kind Nux Vomica 6c or 30c dose four times daily for 3 to 7 days until improved. 

Blood in the milk

Veterinary attention is required if symptoms persists if there are signs of mastitis and the animal appears to be ill. 

Blod may be apparent in milk following a knock or injury. It also occurs sometimes at or soon after calving due to pressure in the udder damaging small blood vessels. A mixture of milk and  blood makes it an ideal ground for bacteria to flourish, if not checked can lead to mastitis.


The milk appears pink, or red and bloodstained and may even contain clots of dark red blood. If pure blood comes out or there is an unpleasant smell mastitis is almost certainly present. Udder will be tender when handled.


After injury, bruising etc Arnica 30c Dose 3 to 4 times daily for a few days until improved.

An excellent remedy for limiting haemorrhaging of blood into the milk Ipececuanha 30c dose 3 to 4 times daily for 3 to 5 days until improved

Useful if there is much congestion of the udder Bufo 6c dose three times daily for 4 to 7 days until improved. 


This is a very common condition seen in cattle of all ages. It flourishes in wet muddy conditions (i.e. around troughs and gateways) it easily spreads from animal to animal and if left untreated can creep up the leg to the joint causing septic arthritis. Hopefully a combination of homeopathy and antibiotics can prevent such drastic measures as amputation of the affected toe.


The onset of sudden lameness, either front or back, noticeable swelling between the two claws and at the top near the coronet. There is an offensive smell, if left untreated an abscess will form and burst discharging pus which contains infection.


For initial treatment and a useful all round remedy Hepar Sulph 6c or 30c dose 2 to 3 times daily for 2 to 5 days until condition improves

If sepsis occurs with a putrid smell, offensive discharge Kreosotum 6c or 30c dose three times daily for 5 to 7 days until improved

For the chronic case not responding well to treatment Silica 6c dose once or twice daily for up to 2 to 3 weeks if steady improvement is apparent.

Prevention Pyrogen 30c this remedy can help overcome or prevent an outbreak. 


Veterinary diagnosis is important and conventional treatment may well be necessary if animal appears unwell.

Milk cell counts taken from samples of fresh milk can be useful in determining the level of clinical infection in a group of cows.

The word mastitis means inflammation of the udder and is the most common disease in dairy cattle. A large number of organisms may be involved but the four most frequently seen are streptococcal, staphylococcal, actinomyces and coli infections.


Swelling of the udder showing varying degrees of heat, redness, and hardness, and there is a change in colour and consistency of the milk. It is usually discoloured, watery in appearance and contains flakes or clots. It is not possible to tell the type of mastitis or the causal organism from the nature of the milk this can only be confirmed by bacteriological examination of the milk samples that have not been treated with antibiotics.


Useful for shock in the acute stage Belladonna 30c dose hourly for four doses then change to a remedy that more closely fits the symptoms

For any infection in the acute stage the remedy can be used at the same time as antibiotic therapy if thought necessary or on its own. Hepar Sulph 6c or 30c dose 3 to 4 times daily for 5 to 10 days if necessary until improved.

Follow as appropriate with any of the remedies below

If the swelling is hard and persistent Bryonia 30c dose every 3 to 4 hours (four times daily) for a few days. Chronic cases often respond to regular treatment 2 to 3 times a week for 4 to 6 weeks as necessary

The affected quarter is hard and painful in addition the teats may be cracked or injured Phytolacca 30c dose three times daily for 5 to 10 days until improved.

Chronic cases where infection persists. Ulcers and sinuses (a discharge breaking through the skin) may develop, Silica 30c dose twice daily for 4 to 5 days, then if necessary, twice a week for 3 to 6 weeks.

This is a combination of remedies Sulphur, silica and Carbo veg, useful when outbreaks of acute mastitis occurs. SSC 30c dose three times daily for 3 to 5 days repeat when required.

Milk Fever (Hypocalcaemia)

Acute, severe cases require calcium solutions injected directly into a vein by a veterinary surgeon. Homeopathic treatment can run along side conventional medicine. The treated animal should be pushed up onto its brisket and its head propped up into an upright position as soon as possible to prevent bloat or inhalation of regurgitated cud. Milk fever is due to lowering of the level of calcium in the blood. It is seen more commonly in cows over four years old, usually occurs from about 2 to 3 days before and up to 10 to 14 days after calving.


A brief period of excitability with muscle tremors, head shaking, teeth grinding, this is soon followed by the more classical symptoms. The animal will sway about then be unable to stand and become recumbent. There is often an s shaped kink in the neck, subnormal temp, dry muzzle, and ears and feet will feel cold. If not treated the animal will lie on its side and be unable to get up, legs become stiff and extend pulse rate increased but is weak. Coma and death follows without treatment. Milk fever and staggers (hypomagnesaemia) may occur together. The recumbent cow will have muscle tremors, oversensitive to the slightest touch, the heart rate will be very fast. 

To aid treatment

If there is excitability, bilging eyes with a ‘staring’ look Belladonna 30c dose every 30 – 60 mins up to 3 to 4 doses.

To assist in preventing relapse Calc Carb 30c dose 3 to 4 times daily for 3 to 3 days.

To aid prevention

In animals known to be susceptible to milk fever  calc phos 30c and magnesium phos 30c combined dose 1 to 2 times weekly for 6 to 8 weeks before calving. 

Navel-ill (joint ill)

Category: veterinary involvement is necessary to aid diagnosis and prescribe the best treatment.

Navel –ill is an infection of the umbilical cord which enters soon after calving a number of bacteria may be involved and the condition varies from slight to very serious, and can sometimes be life threatening if left.

Main symptoms:

Painful, swollen navel, which appears thickened and from which a discharge may ooze. The infection easily spreads from calf to calf. A strict hygiene regime must be introduced and the navel area should be treated with an iodine solution or an antibiotic spray. The infection can spread into the joints, most commonly stifle or hock joints.


For chronic inflammation and infection to follow Hepar Sulph if no improvement after 10 to 14 days. Silica 6c dose twice daily for 7 to 14 days

If the joints become involved they will appear to be hot and swollen. Any movement will be painful Bryonia 6c or 30c dose hourly 3 to 4 times then 3 to 4 times daily for 5 to 10 days until improvement.

If pus is present this potency will help it to discharge Hepar Sulph 6c dose three times daily for 3 to 7 days until resolved.

Navel hot, swollen and tender Hepar Sulph 30c dose three times daily for 5 to 7 days until improved. 

It is not within the scope of this section to name all diseases and symptoms but following are specific diseases and suggested homeopathic remedies.

Veterinary treatment should always be sought; homeopathic treatment is effective and can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine.


A useful skin remedy which helps the growth of new hair Ars Alb 30c dose once or twice per day for 7 to 10 days

For intense irritation and weeping sores Cantharis 6c dose 2 to 3 times daily for 5 to 7 days until improved

In the acute stages with red, oozing and painful lesions Rhus Tox 30c dose 3 to 4 times daily for 5 to 7 days until improved

Especially if St Johns Wort is thought to be the cause and the condition is painful Hypericum 30c dose twice daily for 5 to 7 days 

Respiratory problems


Acute early stage when symptoms first noticed Aconite 30c in the early stages dose every 15 – 30 minutes up to 6 – 8 doses

Follows aconite well if animal feverish, panting and sweating Belladonna 30c dose 4 times daily until improved

Any movement seems to worsen the condition with a dry nagging cough causing discomfort. Increased thirst Bryonia 6c dose 4 times a day until improved

Useful in early stages with a deep racking cough worse in cold air Phosphorous 6c dose two hourly up to 6 doses until improved then four times daily for 3 – 5 days

Dry cough persistent choking, pneumonia and pleurisy together. Yellow discharge and possible bleeding from mouth and nose Drosera 12c or 30c dose four times daily until improved. 


The principle remedy for ringworm Bacillinum 30c dose three times per day for 10 – 14 days. Repeat after 14 days if there are signs of improvement but condition is not fully resolved. Cease treatment if no improvement after two courses.

If Bacillinum has not helped Sepia 30c dose as for Bacillinum

Offensive odour from infected areas, much irritation, patches are particularly noticeable on the head and back of the ears Tellurium 6c or 30c dose three times daily for 7 – 10 days repeat after 7 – 10 days if required until improved. 


This remedy matches many of the symptoms that occur commonly in salmonella infections. Baptisia should help to improve the animals general condition and support the immune system Baptisia 6c or 30c dose every two hours up to six times on the first day, then 3 – 4 daily for 5 – 10 days until there is improvement.

This remedy is available and supports the action of other indicated remedies. It can also be used to help prevent infection spreading Salmonells Nosode 30c to be used under the guidance of a homeopathic Veterinary surgeon. 

Septicaemia (blood poisoning)

In the early stages Aconite 6c or 30c dose every 15 – 30 mins up to 4 – 6 doses

Use if there is vomiting, diarrhoea, extreme restlessness Ars Alb 6c or 30c dose hourly up to 6 – 8 doses on the first day then four times daily for a few days until improved.

Promotes suppuration, dullness, presence of or abscesses, the body feels chilled, this remedy helps to build up the bodies immune system Echinacea 6c dose 3 – 4 times daily for 5 – 7 days

Offensive discharge from the body (after abortion for instance) high temperature, but weak pulse Pyrogen 30c dose 3 – 4 times daily for up to 5 – 7 days until improved 


Discharge is acrid and makes nostrils sore Ars Alb 30c dose once daily for 5 – 7 days

Infection present nose sensitive Hepar sulph 30c dose twice daily for seven days

Thick string like discharge Kali Bic 30c dose twice daily for 5 days and repeat after a week

For chronic long standing case with white pus like discharge Silica 30c dose morning and evening for 10 days. This is a deep but slower acting remedy

Thin watery discharge like white of an egg, much sneezing. Nat Mur 30c dose three times daily for 5 – 7 days until improved

Chronic sinusitis and catarrh with mouth breathing, recurrent tonsillitis, discharge thick and white sometimes bleeding from nostril Kali Mur 6c dose twice daily for up to 4 – 8 weeks if necessary

Particularly the right nostril is blocked, green scales in nostrils, much thick yellow discharge in the morning Pulsatilla 30c dose 3 – 4 times daily until improved 


First signs of paralysis Arnica 30c dose immediately and repeat hourly on the first day then four times daily for 5 – 10 days until improved

If there is obvious pain and/or distress Hypericum 30c this may be given at the same time and same dosage as arnica.

After the initial stages of paralysis Conium 6c dose three times daily for 10 – 14 days and repeat after 2 – 4 weeks if there was a response in previous dose.

For slipped disc if the muscle of the hind quarters are rock hard to touch or the paralysis is spastic in nature (jerking movements) Nux Vom 6c dose 3 – 4 times daily for 10 – 14 days and repeat in 10 – 14 days if improvement apparent

For the older animal with urinary and/or faecal incontinence and partial paralysis or hind limb weakness Causticum 30c dose three times daily for 10 days and repeat every 10 – 14 days as necessary. 





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