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Nervous Ketosis In Cattle

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Cut Down On Ketosis

Ketosis is one of the most common metabolic diseases on dairy farms. It occurs when cows have an abnormal response to negative energy balance. After calving, all cows experience some degree of negative energy balance, mobilize body fat for the additional energy needed for milk production and lose weight during the first several months of lactation. But, if cows mobilize excessive amounts of fat, the metabolic process of converting this fat to energy can result in an undesirable buildup of ketones in the bloodstream. Clinical signs Watch for the following clinical signs: decreased milk production, poor appetite, decreased rumen fill, dehydration, sunken eyes and constipation. In severe cases, known as nervous ketosis, cows will exhibit neurologic signs such as weakness, running into walls, or compulsive licking/chewing. Cow-side diagnostic tests If you suspect ketosis, you have several options to help confirm the diagnosis. 1. Urine test strips. Once the cow urinates, hold the ketone strip into the urine and watch for a color change (purple) which often occurs within seconds. The urine strips are the least costly test; however, they do miss some cows with ketosis (due to lower sensi Continue reading >>

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  1. JeffNY

    Well instead of dealing with milk fever, we had to deal with Nervous Ketosis with our Jersey. On Thursday she began to act weird, doing this weird chewing thing, was not aware of her surroundings, didn't kick much which is strange for her. So the first think you think is "Milk fever". Well called the vet, he came, and said that she has nervous ketosis, not milk fever. Did an IV of glucose, and she came back around fairly quickly, ate her grain there after. But what a strange thing, they go nuts. She would lick her shoulder, and the vet said he has seen ones that have licked through the hide, because they dont know what they are doing. He has heard of cases where they will chase you down, because they are simply out of their mind. Another vet told us that they have chased down and taken on skid steers. This one particular animal he treated, was biting the curb, and taking her teeth out. It went to her head and never cured, it went too far. Amazing how something that can be simple to remedy, can do what it does. Makes you wonder, what other animals have been killed off because it was though to be Mad Cow (such as Europe), yet it might have been nervous ketosis. They do want to go down, they do act strange, so who knows? She is better, and being treated for it. He said it typically happens in well conditioned animals, ones with a lot of back fat, and when they are new into milking they begin drawing from their back fat. This causes some sort of nutrient imbalence, which causes improper sugar use. It's weird, almost sounds sorta like a diabetes thing. What I noticed that seemed strange, was the fact she was down to 19-20lbs from 25-27lbs (per milking, being 50-52lbs day). So sure enough, Thursday AM she begins to act strange. Was told by another vet animals with nervous ketosis have chased skid steers down, and the vet that came told us they have chased humans down. Once again, it goes to show you, catch something early and you can usually nip it in the butt. Fun thing about dairy, it is a challenge. Boy has it been a challenge so far, beef animals are a piece of cake to raise.
    Jeff

  2. pygmywombat

    Wow. I have heard of ketosis, but not nervous ketosis. I wonder, aside from cows with it who are then killed for BSE, if its also mistaken for rabies?

  3. JeffNY

    Rabies symptoms and Nervous Ketosis symptoms are very very similar, and the vet said if they don't respond to treatment, then it could have been rabies. Which was just great, would of had to go get the series of shots .
    Jeff

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