Effect of rapid intravenous administration of 50% dextrose solution on phosphorus homeostasis in postparturient dairy cows

Walter Grünberg, Dawn E. Morin, James K. Drackley, Peter D. Constable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Dextrose is commonly administered to postparturient dairy cows, which often have low plasma phosphorus concentration ([P]) as a result of anorexia and sudden onset of lactation. Intravenous (IV) dextrose administration causes hypophosphatemia in other species. Hypothesis: Bolus administration of dextrose to postparturient dairy cows results in a transient decrease in plasma [P]. Animals: Six healthy postparturient dairy cows. Methods: Using a crossover design, cows were administered 500 mL of 50% dextrose solution IV or a sham treatment. Plasma concentrations of glucose ([glucose]), immunoreactive insulin ([IRI]), and phosphorus were monitored for 12 hours after each treatment. Urine [P], [glucose], and volume and salivary [P] were also determined. Results: Plasma [glucose], [IRI], and [P] were stable during sham treatment. Plasma [P] decreased rapidly after dextrose administration, dropping by 35% in 1 hour and remaining below baseline for 90 minutes. Salivary [P], urine [P], and urine volume per hour remained stable after dextrose administration, but glucose was detected in urine for up to 6 hours. The amount of glucose excreted in urine in 12 hours (11.9 ± 4.5 g) was less than 5% of the administered dose. Regression analysis revealed a stronger association between plasma [P] and [IRI] than between plasma [P] and [glucose], suggesting that hyperinsulinemia drove the hypophosphatemia. Conclusion and Clinical Importance: Results indicate that low plasma [P] should be expected in cows that have received IV dextrose within 1 hour before blood sampling. Caution is advised when administering dextrose solution to cows already at risk of hypophosphatemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1471-1478
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Glucose
  • Glucosuria
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypophosphatemia insulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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