Rational treatments for ketosis in fresh cows
Hyperketonemia affects over 40% of dairy cows in early lactation. The prevalence of hyperketonemia (determined by spot checks within herds) is about 20%. Negative impacts of hyperketonemia most notably include decreased milk yield, increased risk for displaced abomasum, and increased risk for early lactation herd removal. Cowside blood betahydroxybutyrate tests are now available for rapid and accurate diagnosis of hyperketonemia. Urine and milk tests can also be used, but have substantial disadvantages. Accurate and early diagnosis of hyperketonemia after calving allows early and effective treatment. This mitigates about half of the negative impacts of hyperketonemia such as decreased milk yield, increased risk for displaced abomasum, and increased risk for herd removal. Mild to moderate cases of hyperketonemia in individual cows are best treated with an oral glucose precursor such as propylene glycol. Intravenous glucose should be reserved for severe cases and followed with oral glucose precursors.