Dairy cows undergo various transition periods throughout their productive life, which are associated with periods of increased metabolic and infectious disease susceptibility. Redox balance plays a key role in ensuring a satisfactory transition. Nevertheless, oxidative stress (OS), a consequence of redox imbalance, has been associated with an increased risk of disease in these animals. In the productive cycle of dairy cows, the periparturient and neonatal periods are times of increased OS and disease susceptibility. This article reviews the relationship of redox status and OS with diseases of cows and calves, and how supplementation with antioxidants can be used to prevent OS in these animals.