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Why Do Cows Get Ketosis

Ketosis

Ketosis

Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose.[1][2] It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides[3]). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate,[4] and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon.[5] Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes.[6] In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed.[5][7] For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode.[8] Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>

Ketosis Can Expose Cows To Many More Conditions - How To Check For It

Ketosis Can Expose Cows To Many More Conditions - How To Check For It

When a cow calves she must increase the intake of food at this time or at the very least the energy density should increase. Anything that may affect her appetite or reduce feed intake must be avoided. It is important to ensure food being eaten has adequate energy in it. A cow naturally will dip into negative energy after calving (for up to 6-8 weeks) which is where food intake can’t match output. We must minimise this period of negative energy as it can potentially have a negative long-term impact on the immune function and even production of the cow. When a cow dips into this negative energy she ‘milks off her back’. All this means is that she will break down fat reserves to fill this energy gap. This is okay for a short period but if it occurs long term or quickly it results in a condition called ketosis or more commonly subclinical ketosis which can be a build-up of the by-products of this fat breakdown called ketones. If this condition persists for a prolonged period it can reduce appetite and depress immunity. This is very much like a gateway condition; simply put it predisposes the cow to so many more conditions. Its reduction in appetite can also strongly link it with displaced abomasam. This is where the abomasum or true stomach will flip out of position mainly due to decreased feed intakes. Ketosis is one of the reasons we see an increase in all sorts of infections in cows from mastitis to metritis post calving. It is really important to remember also that ketosis will inhibit the cow producing an egg or ovulating; this can delay heats dramatically and really affects overall herd and cow fertility. Although this subclinical ketosis is not an obvious condition, it still causes so many issues we need to monitor it. The first thing we need to do is assess a Continue reading >>

New Tools Help Us Spot Ketotic Cows

New Tools Help Us Spot Ketotic Cows

The author is a dairy practitioner and owner/partner in Countryside Veterinary Clinic, Lowville, N.Y. When a cow's intake of energy does not meet her energy needs for maintenance and milk production, she begins to burn fat as an energy source. One common form of ketosis (Type I) occurs when a cow is in negative energy balance. She is not consuming enough energy to meet her metabolic needs. This generally occurs in early lactation when the cow's feed intake is unable to keep up with climbing milk production. When a cow's intake of energy does not meet her energy needs, she begins to burn fat as an energy source. The liver is the necessary organ to convert fat into usable energy (sugar). Think of the liver as a factory with an output limit. It can only convert so much fat into sugar. Once this pathway is overwhelmed, the liver produces ketones. Ketones can be used as an energy source, but they are much less efficient, and they cause the cow to feel sick. This becomes a downward spiral . . . the cow does not feel well, eats less, burns more fat, and makes more ketones. She now has clinical ketosis. Two other forms of ketosis can occur as a result of either "fat cow syndrome" or the consumption of forages high in butyric acid. "Fat cow" (or Type II) ketosis occurs when dry matter intake declines before freshening. This most commonly occurs in overconditioned cows but can also occur when dry matter intake is restricted to cows prior to freshening. This often is the result of overcrowding or improperly balanced prefresh rations. Cows with Type II ketosis are very difficult to manage and don't respond well to treatment. Butyric acid-induced ketosis is caused by the direct consumption of ketones in the diet. This causes poor dry matter intake and the obvious downward spiral as Continue reading >>

Minimizing The Risk For Ketosis In Dairy Herds

Minimizing The Risk For Ketosis In Dairy Herds

En Español: Minimizando el Riesgo de Cetosis en el Ganado Lechero This article is part of our series of original articles on emerging featured topics. Please check here to see other articles in this series. Introduction Although most cases of ketosis occur in fresh dairy cows, feeding practices and cow health prepartum can predispose cows to experiencing ketosis after calving. Most cases of primary ketosis occur within the first 2 weeks of calving, and even most secondary ketosis (occurring after the onset of another disease) occurs within the first 30 to 60 days in milk. In general, less than 5% of the cows in a herd should experience clinical ketosis. However, some reports have indicated that the incidence of subclinical ketosis may affect 40% of cows, with the incidence rate varying widely among farms, and may be as high as 80% on individual farms. The major focus prepartum to reduce the risk for ketosis after calving is maintaining feed intake in late gestation and avoiding overconditioning cows during late lactation and the dry period. Cows should dry off and freshen at a body condition score (BCS) of 3.5. Cows with a BCS equal to or greater than 4.0 will likely have lower intake prepartum and be at higher risk for fatty liver and ketosis at and after calving. Recent work at the University of Minnesota indicates that cows with a BCS greater than 3.5 and producing over 16 lb of colostrum are at a higher risk for ketosis. Feeding programs for far-off and close-up cows should be designed to maintain intake during late gestation, i.e., minimizing the drop in intake during the last week of gestation, to reduce the risk for ketosis after calving. These prepartum diets should contain high-fiber forages and provide adequate but not excessive amounts of energy. A 20% or gr Continue reading >>

Ketosis

Ketosis

Ketosis (Acetonemia, Ketonemia) is a common multifactorial disease resulting in downer cow syndrome in adult cattle worldwide[1]. Causes which predisposed to ketosis include: Ketosis is a common disease of dairy cows in early lactation caused by a negative energy balance that results in high concentrations of circulating nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs) (acetone, acetoacetate, and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB)). This disease is usually associated with fatty liver. Clinical signs Clinically affected cattle shows signs of anorexia, reduced milk yield and may present as downer cows. Neurological signs of restlessness and ataxia may sometimes be noted. A sweet breath may be observed by an observant farmer or veterinarian. Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs supported by laboratory tests such as urinalysis and milk detection of ketones. During the first month of lactation, ratios of glycerophosphocholine:phosphocholine less than 2.5 in the milk indicate a high risk for developing ketosis[2]. Blood tests showing elevated NEFAs can assist diagnosis in more valuable cattle[3]. Bolus IV administration of 500 mL of 50% dextrose solution is a common therapy[4]. Glucocorticoids including dexamethasone or isoflupredone acetate at 5–20 mg/dose, IM, generally results in a more sustained response. Oral propylene glycol (250–400 g) may be effective as ketosis therapy[5]. Continue reading >>

Why Are Cows Considered Holy Animals In Hinduism(sanatana Dharma)?

Why Are Cows Considered Holy Animals In Hinduism(sanatana Dharma)?

It is not just India that has a taboo on beef. Cows are greatly respected in Nepal and Burma too. People in the Vedic period were primarily pastoral. They relied on the cows for milk and dung. Cow dung is one of the main fuels in rural India and also served as a fertilizer. Cow dung and cow urine is also thought to be an disinfectant among ancient Indians and used to clean up home. Thus, cow provided the food, fuel, disinfectant and fertilizer for the Vedic people. Hindu scriptures have always considered milk as among the highest forms of food - Satvic. Cow's milk is believed to have a great calming effect and improves meditation. A product of cow's milk - ghee (clarified butter) - is used for Yajna (fire worship). Fire worship is the highest form prayer for Hindus. This adds religious significance to cow's products. Despite its big size, a cow is a calm animal and non-threatening - you could see cows quietly roaming Indian roads. Hindus have always appreciated the tolerance, patience and calmness of the cow. Thus, cows stood for the goodness of Hindu religion and considered a representative of Dharma. Also, a cow's affection to its calf is a beautiful thing and Vedas greatly appreciated this bonding. Sustainability: Ancient Indians probably ate meat when they wandered in the grasslands. However, as soon as they settled and the population near Ganges exploded, they saw the issues cropping. The key was water pollution from the slaughterhouses. Both the leather industry and slaughter industry hugely polluting industries and thus taboos quickly came. In some ways, cows for Indians are like the pets in the Western Culture. You don't see dog meat, cat meat or even horse meat in the US as these are the animals people have in their homes and form a special bonding with. For so Continue reading >>

Test For, Treat Ketosis Early In Dairy Cattle

Test For, Treat Ketosis Early In Dairy Cattle

Years ago, I would lean over the feed bunk and smell the breath of a ketosis-suspect dairy cow. It convinced me that it had either bad breath or glue (acetone) breathing ketosis. Since then, I’ve come a long way. Dairy nutritionists like myself and dairy producers now have access to modern BHB (Beta-hydroxybutyrate) milk tests through regular Canwest DHI testing or from on-farm keto-testing kits. By detecting ketosis in problematic cows and implementing strong transition cow-feeding and management programs, we should be able to reduce early lactation ketosis, which is detrimental to long-term dairy cow health and performance. Don’t ignore it Ignoring a ketosis cow doesn’t solve the problem, either. Untreated clinical ketosis include a rapid drop in body condition, loss of appetite, decreased milk production, and yes, acetone-smelling breath. Most veterinarians will tell us that such clinical ketosis is relatively rare in dairy cows with the majority of ketosis symptoms in afflicted cows being hidden or subclinical in nature. Rather, these latter cows will suffer from a higher incidence of displaced abomasums, retained placentas, mastitis, or weaken immune system. Subclinical ketosis has also been linked to milk fever and reproductive problems. Cows with subclinical ketosis lose about 25 per cent of their potential milk production per lactation. Early lactation cows are the most vulnerable to either type of ketosis because, by nature, they cannot meet all their energy requirements of maintenance and high milk production from just their diet. Therefore they are drawn into a state of “negative energy balance” (NEB) for about five to six weeks after calving. Even well-transitioned cows experience a period of NEB, but they tend to have good post-partum dry matter i Continue reading >>

If Cows And Sheep Only Eat Grass, Why Do They Get Fat?

If Cows And Sheep Only Eat Grass, Why Do They Get Fat?

A couple similar questions have been asked on this already, and my responses to both can be seen here: Why do cows grow so big eating only grass? and How do cows get enough nutrition by just eating grass? Both animals are ruminants, which means they have multiple forestomachs designed for digesting plant matter, and to house quite the ecology of anaerobic bacteria, fungi and protozoa all which actively break down the bonds of cellulose with an enzyme only they (primarily bacteria) can produce to release the carbohydrate within. When the carbohydrate is utilized, it goes to the millions of rumen microflora first, then to the cow. The cow uses it first for maintenance, then for growth (if a young growing animal, not a mature one, unless said cow is growing a fetus in her), reproduction and lactation. If there's still enough energy (carb) left over, that gets converted and stored as fat. So it's all thanks to those millions of microbes that live and die in the sheep and cow's rumen. There are many animal species which eat only grass, grains and vegetable matter yet gain body fat. The reasons are that the animals have the ability to digest grasses and convert to energy, protein, bone and fat. In order to create fat they just need to eat in excess of daily calorie needs. Continue reading >>

Happy Cows ~ Quality Milk ~ Healthy People

Happy Cows ~ Quality Milk ~ Healthy People

Ketosis is an elevated level of ketones in the blood associated with a negative energy balance that occurs in most cows during the early stages of their lactation (2-6 weeks into lactation, most cows get ketosis around week 3 after freshening) and occasionally mid-late lactation cows. What to look for with ketosis: Signs of ketosis include a decreased intake of dry matter, loss of body condition, decreased milk production, the cow acting nervous, and breath that smells sickly sweet like acetone. Why is ketosis bad? Ketosis can kill a cow by essentially poisoning her body if not treated. Less dramatic problems include long-term decreased production, unhealthy quality of milk, inability to maintain and store vital nutrients to her body for long term health, and can cause reproductive issues. Ketosis can create fatty liver syndrome which causes a number of problems such as decreased fertility, decreased liver function, and sometimes death. Testing for ketosis: To know if your cow has ketosis, you can buy Ketostix strips. Collect a small sample of urine into a sterile cup and dip a strip into the urine. Read package directions to determine if your cow tests positive for ketosis. A blood test can also be done and is more accurate, but the strips provide a quick easy test. If a cow tests positive, ask your vet about getting a milk test done, as a positive test in the milk would indicate enough problem to warrant treatment. An elevated temperature would indicate another problem, as ketosis alone should not change body temperature. What causes ketosis? Consumption of silage that contains butyric acid can cross the rumen wall to the liver. Production of ketones in the liver. Milk production requires a large amount of glucose. By the second day after calving, a cow’s requiremen Continue reading >>

Nervous Form Of Ketosis In Cows And Its Treatment

Nervous Form Of Ketosis In Cows And Its Treatment

Ketosis is defined as an abnormal rise of the ketone or acetone bodies in the body. The ketone bodies are organic chemical compounds and include acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta hydroxy butyric acid. Present study reports the primary nervous ketosis in three cows at their peak milk yield. Cows exhibited the bellowing, head pressing and reluctance to take concentrates. Low serum glucose, high levels of blood urea nitrogen with ketonuria was observed. Cows showed fruitful recovery after treatment with 25% glucose solution, dexamethasone and glycerin along with supportive therapy. Keywords: Cows, Dextrose, Ketosis, Nervous Signs. Ketosis is defined as an abnormal rise of the ketone or acetone bodies in the body. The ketone bodies are organic chemical compounds and include acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta hydroxy butyric acid. Present study reports the primary nervous ketosis in three cows at their peak milk yield. Cows exhibited the bellowing, head pressing and reluctance to take concentrates. Low serum glucose, high levels of blood urea nitrogen with ketonuria was observed. Cows showed fruitful recovery after treatment with 25% glucose solution, dexamethasone and glycerin along with supportive therapy. Keywords: Cows, Dextrose, Ketosis, Nervous Signs. Continue reading >>

Preventive Strategies For Ketosis

Preventive Strategies For Ketosis

Parturition and the onset of lactation challenges calcium and energy homeostasis in dairy cows predisposing them to periparturient disorders that affect health, production and reproductive performance says Carlos Risco, DVM, Dipl. ACT, University of Florida. Dairy cattle experience a negative carbohydrate balance, from -3 weeks and + 3 weeks from calving and are at risk to develop ketosis, Risco explained at the 2010 Western Veterinary Conference. Milk production, in particular, drives the high requirements for glucose because other fuels cannot substitute for lactose in milk. To counteract this, the cow mobilizes body fat and protein stores in the form of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and amino acids. This promotes gluconeogenesis and occurs under the influence of low serum concentrations of insulin. Volatile fatty acids (acetate, propionate, butyrate [BHBA]) produced in the rumen are also presented to the liver as fuels. Acetate and butyrate are ketogenic, and propionate is glycogenic. The key to prevention of ketosis is to maximize dry matter intake before and after calving to prevent excessive NEFA mobilization. Preventing ketosis in the first place is key to avoid some post-partum issues. Risco outlined some preventive strategies: The transition ration. To prevent ketosis the transition ration should maximize DMI, provide adequate energy density, and minimize ketogenic precursors. Silage with a high butyric acid content should not be fed. Introduce ration changes gradually. Manage transition cows to maximize DMI, e.g., provide adequate bunk space. Avoid over-conditioning of cows in late lactation and the early dry period. Niacin (nicotinic acid) fed in transition rations at 6–12 g /d may help reduce blood ketone levels. Propylene glycol may be administered pr Continue reading >>

A New Approach To Ketosis

A New Approach To Ketosis

By Knockanboy Vets Transition cow management is the crucial period for avoiding metabolic diseases in dairy cows. It is during this period, 3 weeks either side of calving, that the risk of diseases such as milk fever, ketosis, RFMs, endometritis, LDAs and cystic ovaries can either be reduced by good management or increased by sub-optimal management. Ketosis is one of the key diseases to avoid in this period as it is often the gateway disease to many of the other fresh cow conditions we see. For instance the risk of having an LDA increases by 8 fold with ketosis, metritis risk increases by 3 fold and the risk of cystic ovaries increases by 6 fold. Typically we don’t think of ketosis as a costly disease in its own right but when you see what the other health consequences and add in the lost milk production then the costs soon ramp up. Ketosis is also known as sweet breath, acetonaemia and nervous ketosis by vets and farmers. It is normal for cows to experience an energy gap in the period just after calving. This results in the cow mobilising her own body tissue reserves to fuel her milk production. Clinical ketosis is just the tip of the iceberg with many cases of sub clinical ketosis going undiagnosed. Blood, milk and urine are typically tested for ketosis. Treatment generally involves drenching with propylene glycol (which the cow can readily convert into glucose), addressing any concurrent diseases, and encouraging the cow’s appetite and metabolism using injectable steroids and good husbandry. We do however have a new product to help in the battle against ketosis, Kexxtone boluses from Elanco Animal Health. Kexxtone is a pulse release bolus containing monensin which is licenced in the UK to reduce the risk of ketosis in dairy cows around calving. The bolus encourag Continue reading >>

Ketosis And Fatty Liver In Cattle

Ketosis And Fatty Liver In Cattle

Abstract PROBABLY two-thirds of nutritional problems in cattle centre on energy balance. Energy deficiency, particularly in early lactation, leads to fat mobilisation, the degree of which appears to be related to the level of milk production, the magnitude of the energy deficit and/or the cow's body condition score at calving. All these factors can result in increased fat utilisation and raised plasma fatty acids and ketone body levels, which in turn can lead to diseases such as clinical ketosis or fat cow syndrome. More frequently, however, there are no overt signs of disease, but the deficit has knock-on effects such as an increased incidence of metabolic and infectious disease, excessive loss of condition, and poor fertility including poor conception rates, anoestrus, suboestrus and cystic ovarian disease. In every case there will be some increase in the fat content of the liver. Thus, the development of fatty liver appears to precede ketosis and contribute to its onset and that of a number of other energy deficiency syndromes, as described in this article. Request permissions If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways. Continue reading >>

Overview Of Ketosis In Cattle

Overview Of Ketosis In Cattle

(Acetonemia, Ketonemia) By Thomas H. Herdt, DVM, MS, DACVN, DACVIM, Professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, Michigan State University Ketosis is a common disease of adult cattle. It typically occurs in dairy cows in early lactation and is most consistently characterized by partial anorexia and depression. Rarely, it occurs in cattle in late gestation, at which time it resembles pregnancy toxemia of ewes (see Pregnancy Toxemia in Ewes and Does). In addition to inappetence, signs of nervous dysfunction, including pica, abnormal licking, incoordination and abnormal gait, bellowing, and aggression, are occasionally seen. The condition is worldwide in distribution but is most common where dairy cows are bred and managed for high production. Etiology and Pathogenesis: The pathogenesis of bovine ketosis is incompletely understood, but it requires the combination of intense adipose mobilization and a high glucose demand. Both of these conditions are present in early lactation, at which time negative energy balance leads to adipose mobilization, and milk synthesis creates a high glucose demand. Adipose mobilization is accompanied by high blood serum concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs). During periods of intense gluconeogenesis, a large portion of serum NEFAs is directed to ketone body synthesis in the liver. Thus, the clinicopathologic characterization of ketosis includes high serum concentrations of NEFAs and ketone bodies and low concentrations of glucose. In contrast to many other species, cattle with hyperketonemia do not have concurrent acidemia. The serum ketone bodies are acetone, acetoacetate, and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). There is speculation that the pathogenesis of ketosis cases oc Continue reading >>

Why Ketone Level Testing Isn't Always Indicative Of Ketosis In Cattle

Why Ketone Level Testing Isn't Always Indicative Of Ketosis In Cattle

In the last few decades, advancements in dairy milking, cow genetics and herd management have cows producing greater amounts and higher quality milk than in any other time in the history of dairy farming. The huge improvements in milk production have also brought with it a new set of challenges. In many modern dairy farms the best cows -- those that produce the most and highest quality milk -- are at the greatest risk for metabolic disorders. A major metabolic interruption and one of the most common calving diseases is ketosis. Ketosis in cows is a pathological condition which decreases milk quantity and quality, damages fertility and shortens lifespan, all of which severely affect farm revenue. Ketosis is especially prominent in post-partum cows, as it is a time of sharp increase in milk production, demanding very high energy requirements. When these energy requirements aren't met, ketosis in cattle occurs. As in most metabolic diseases, clinical signs are rare and not specific; hence, diagnosis is available through measuring excessive ketones in the blood and urine. However, although direct parameter testing is usually accurate, they are not sufficient in truly monitoring and diagnosing ketosis in dairy cows. In this post we'll explain why such direct testing is insufficient, and what alternative methods should be considered instead. Getting a Rise Out of Constantly Fluctuating Ketone Levels A common method for detecting ketosis in cows is through measuring the beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA levels) in the blood. This is the most predominant ketone in the cow's blood and known to be the "gold standard" for diagnosis of ketosis. These tests are usually conducted at a specific time after calving, mostly during a veterinarian's visit to the farm. The challenge with these tes Continue reading >>

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