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Understanding Ketosis in Cattle: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Understanding Ketosis in Cattle: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Understanding Ketosis in Cattle: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Understanding Ketosis in Cattle: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Ketosis, a common ailment in adult cattle, particularly dairy cows in early lactation, is a complex condition that significantly impacts overall herd health. In this article, we'll delve into the intricacies of ketosis, exploring its causes, diagnostic methods, and effective treatment options. At ExpressMed, we offer a range of products designed to aid in the management and treatment of ketosis in cattle, ensuring the well-being of your herd.

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis in cattle, often known as acetonemia, is marked by the involuntary leakage of ketone bodies, predominantly occurring in early lactation. This condition is identified by hyporexia (reduced appetite) and decreased milk production, posing a challenge for dairy farmers striving for high production yields.

Diagnosing Ketosis: The Key Indicators

Accurate diagnosis of ketosis involves assessing risk factors, clinical signs, and elevated ketone body concentrations in blood, urine, or milk. While enzymatic laboratory tests are considered the gold standard, convenient on-farm tests are preferred. Explore our range of on-farm ketone body concentration tests for efficient and timely diagnosis.

Management and Treatment Strategies

1. Oral Administration of Propylene Glycol

The standard and most effective treatment for ketosis involve the oral administration (drench) of propylene glycol. Propylene glycol specifically designed for easy administration, ensures a swift and efficient recovery. Avoiding overdosing is crucial to prevent CNS depression.

2. Bolus Glucose Treatment

In neurologic cases, additional therapy with bolus glucose treatment with a 50% dextrose solution is recommended. It serves as an effective and quick solution for reestablishing normoglycemia.

3. Vitamin B12 as an Adjunct Treatment

For ketotic cows experiencing hypoglycemia, there's support for the use of vitamin B12 supplements as an adjunct treatment to complement oral drenching of propylene glycol.

Challenges in Treatment: Type I vs. Type II Ketosis

Cases occurring within the first 1–2 weeks after calving (type II ketosis) can be more refractory to treatment. In such instances, a repeated 5-day course of oral drenching of propylene glycol combined with vitamin B12 may resolve these issues. For refractory cases, some suggest the potential benefits of long-acting insulin preparations, although evidence remains limited.

Exploring Additional Therapies

In refractory cases, continuous IV glucose infusion and tube feeding may offer additional benefits.

Optimizing Herd Health

Reducing milking frequency from twice a day to once daily has shown promise in reducing ketone body concentration. While this may improve the chances of a cure, it comes at the expense of reduced milk production. Explore our range of Nova Max products to maintain overall herd health while managing ketosis effectively.

In conclusion, ketosis is a multifaceted condition that requires a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment. At ExpressMed, we are committed to providing innovative solutions that contribute to the well-being of your cattle. Regular monitoring, timely diagnosis, and appropriate treatment are key to ensuring a healthy and productive herd.


Information in this article was sourced from:

Blog Calender Blog UserBy Express Med


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