KETOSIS in freshly calved dairy cows can be common, yet subclinical cases often go undetected, and the consequences are costly. So to help farmers easily identify ketosis in their herds, Elanco has launched a cow-side testing kit called Keto-Test which measures ketone levels in milk.
Keto-Testing is quick and easy, and it takes only a few minutes to get an accurate assessment of the presence of subclinical or ‘hidden’ ketosis.
Keto-Testing uses colour-graded dipsticks to measure the levels of the ketone, betahydroxybutyrate (BHBA) in milk. The higher the concentration of BHBA in the milk, the deeper the colour purple on the Keto-Test strips, and the greater the level of ketosis. A positive result for ketosis is defined as a milk BHBA level over 100μmol/litre.
Keto-Test results are proven to correlate well with the more expensive method of taking blood samples for laboratory analysis.
To monitor herd levels of ketosis, a Keto-Test should be carried out every two to three weeks on cows that have calved between 2 and 21 days previously. A minimum of 12 cows should be tested. If more than 25% of cows tested have positive results, the herd’s vet and nutritionist should be consulted.
Elanco’s UK technical consultant, Mike Steele explains: “Keto-Test is a cost-effective tool which allows farmers to routinely screen the negative energy status of early lactation cows to identify cases of subclinical ketosis. This hidden ketosis is detrimental to cow performance. It has been shown to significantly increase the risk of other health problems such as displaced abomasum, and also to reduce milk production and depress fertility.”
Mike Steele adds: “By proactively monitoring herds for ketosis, farmers can work with their vets and nutritionists and be able to take action sooner to prevent the negative impacts of hidden ketosis on herd performance, health, and profitability.”
Elanco’s Keto-Test testing kits each contain 20 strips and a colour chart, and are available from veterinary practices.
For further information contact Elanco Animal Health, Lilly House, Priestley Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NL, Tel 01256 353131, Fax 01256 779510 Email firstname.lastname@example.org.