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Subclinical Ketosis

Subclinical ketosis: a bigger problem than most dairy producers realize

Subclinical ketosis (SCK) is a metabolic condition associated with1,2,3:

  • Increased incidence of displaced abomasums
  • Lost milk production
  • Impaired reproductive performance
  • An increased risk for early culling

Subclinical ketosis typically occurs in early lactation, when animals are in negative energy balance. An estimated 15 percent of cows in U.S. dairy herds have ketosis or subclinical ketosis.4 To prevent SCK from becoming clinical disease, cows must be identified early so effective treatment can begin.

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Percentage of cows with SCK by week of lactation determined by blood BHBA > 1200 μmol/L.3

A low-cost cow-side test for diagnosing subclinical ketosis is available to U.S. dairies. An effective tool in Canadian dairies for eight years, Keto-Test® is a simple milk-dip test strip that changes color in the presence of abnormally high concentrations of circulating ketone bodies.5

Keto-Test is an easy, cost-effective ketosis-screening program to help dairy producers and veterinarians determine whether further investigation of herd health is warranted. Keto-Test can readily be incorporated as part of a dairy’s routine fresh cow program or herd screening. Likewise, monitoring for subclinical ketosis can aid the nutritionist and veterinarian in evaluating part of the dairy’s transition cow program.

To learn more about ketosis and Keto-Test, contact your Elanco sales representative using the Find your sales representative locator tool to the left. View our Keto-Test brochure for more information.

Important Safety Information

The label contains complete use information, including cautions and warnings. Always read, understand and follow the label and use directions.

1Ospina, P., Nydam, D., Stokol, T. and Overton, T. 2010. “Association between the proportion of sampled transition cows with increased nonesterified fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyrate and disease incidence, pregnancy rate, and milk production at the herd level.” J. Dairy Sci., In Press, Accepted April 30, 2010.

2Geishauser, T., Leslie, K., Kelton, D. and Duffield, T. 2001. “Monitoring for subclinical ketosis in dairy herds.” Compendium, Food Animal. 23: S65–S71.

3Duffield, T. 2007. “Peripartum metabolic monitoring.” Proc. AABP Conference, 40: 213–218.

4Oetzel, G. 2004. “Monitoring and testing dairy herds for metabolic disease.” Vet. Clin. North Amer: Food Animal Practice. 20: 651–674.

5Andersson, L. 1988. “Subclinical ketosis in Dairy Cows.” Vet. Clin. North Amer: Food Animal Practice. 4: 233–251