Building confidence in transition cow consulting
Nutrition can greatly impact the health and productivity of the lactating dairy cow. Nutrition and management during the dry period and immediately prior to calving have a tremendous impact on the success of the cow to transition into lactation. The veterinarian may be asked to intervene on individual sick cows with transition problems (i.e. ketosis, displaced abomasum [LDA], hypocalcemia) or evaluate a herd that has a higher incidence of transition cow disease than expected. Veterinarians should develop the skills necessary to consult producers on how to diagnose whether the transition cows are having a negative impact on herd health and productivity, evaluate the cause of the increased herd-level incidence, and recommend management and nutritional changes to correct the problem. This paper will primarily focus on clinical and subclinical ketosis prevention and its sequelae.