For a long time, magnesium was mostly ignored in health care. But now, more knowledge is becoming available on this mineral. This increased demand for good diagnostic devices to analyse ionised magnesium. It’s not easy to produce a machine capable of measuring magnesium at-point-of-care. Fortunately, the Labbook is one of the few devices able to do just this.
The low availability of these devices hindered research, both in humans and animals. For cows however, it is known that the concentration of ionised magnesium in blood changes if the cow suffers from milk fever. Where the calcium concentration decreases, magnesium rises. This happens in nearly all cows when calving, but in cows with milk fever, the difference is greater.
By measuring magnesium besides calcium, milk fever can be determined with more certainty. We do this by calculating the ratio. Normally, there’s over two times more ionised calcium than magnesium in blood. This is a calcium:magnesium ratio of 2 or higher. In case of milk fever, the ratio decreases and may become as low as 1.5. In severe cases, the ratio even drops to 1.3.
This figure is more reliable than the calcium concentration alone in determining milk fever. An added advantage is that low magnesium concentrations are also detected. Even though hypomagnesaemia is rare, it’s important to act immediately when it does occur.
The Labbook is one of few decives capable of detecting ionised magnesium. And it can do this right beside the animal, at-point-of-care. Results are available instantly enabling direct action.
Innovative devices like the Labbook help shedding light on this mysterious element. New knowledge will enable veterinarians to use magnesium to provide better care.