General information

Treatment and prevention of ketosis in cows


Ketosis is a disease of cattle associated with excessive accumulation of ketone substances. And the treatment of ketosis in cows is the topic of our discussion. The disease disrupts the metabolism in the body, which leads to the accumulation in milk of acetone and acids that make the product inedible. Pathology can cause serious damage to livestock farms, since the loss of dairy products reaches 70%. Most often suffer from high-milk breeds of cows.

Causes of illness associated with nutrition.

The main characteristic of the disease is a violation of the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the body of an animal. The result is an excessive accumulation of acetone and two acids: acetoacetic and beta-hydroxybutyric. These substances are called ketone.

The causes of cattle ketosis include:

  • excessive abundance of protein in feed and lack of carbohydrates,
  • feeding on moldy feeds, the predominance of oilcake or silage,
  • endocrine disruption,
  • drop in blood glucose,
  • lack of movement and fresh air.

It is noticed that cows of high-milk breeds most often suffer from this disease one to two months after the birth of calves. To a lesser extent, ketosis in cows is manifested during the grazing period. Mostly - in early spring, due to the lack of fresh feed.

Thus, the occurrence of the disease is directly related to eating habits. Most often cattle are sick, whose age ranges from 4 to 7 years.

The reason why cows are susceptible to ketosis during the period of calving and carrying calves is a big expenditure of energy by the animal’s body to produce milk. The need for glucose increases about three times. If there is not enough glucose in the feed, the body begins to use it, removing it from fat reserves. An excess amount of ketone bodies is formed in the liver during the breakdown of fats.

Ketosis in cows, its symptoms and treatment is a well-studied topic in veterinary medicine, but even for experienced specialists it may be unexpected that ketosis depends on the mood of the livestock. The more often the animals experience stress, the greater the risk of this disease.

Milk smells like acetone.

Timely diagnosis of ketosis in dairy cows will reduce product losses to a minimum. The severity of symptoms depends on how badly the metabolism is disturbed. By the number of ketone bodies in the blood, the disease can be divided into three stages: acute (it is also called acetonemia), subacute and chronic.

The first warning signs of acute ketosis are:

  • increased nervousness of cows
  • profuse salivation,
  • trembling and spasms of individual muscle groups,
  • the animal begins to gnash its teeth,
  • extremely sluggish behavior comes to replace the nervous excitement,
  • body temperature is lowered
  • milk gets the smell of acetone,
  • milk foams weakly and has a bitter taste.

In the subacute form, the main symptom is impaired appetite and a tendency to eat spoiled food. Diseased cows reject fresh hay and healthy concentrates, but they eat rotten silage. There is a clear smell of acetone in milk and urine. Milk yield significantly reduced, there are times when milk production stops altogether.

Risk group

High-fever cows are susceptible to ketosis in the first two months after calving, and the incidence rate can range from 12 to 80%. Much less often this disease occurs during periods of dryness, when the balance of their nutrition is disturbed.

Ketosis loss is significant:

  • milk yield reduced by 10-15%
  • the period of use of highly productive livestock is reduced,
  • the cattle is discarded for meat,
  • adult individuals and unborn calves are dying.

Ketosis Symptoms

Why does he hit the newly-styled cows? Stress, hormonal leaps, and the onset of lactation prevent them from eating so much food to fill the enormous energy costs and their growing needs. Therefore, it begins to actively split its own fat, and the cow loses weight.

Excessive amount of ketone compounds also worsens the appetite, which further aggravates the situation. They negatively affect the liver cells, they die in large numbers, as a result the whole body suffers.

  1. In acute currents, cows are characterized by nervous disorders, their muscles are trembling, the animal is too mobile, and excessive salivation is observed. Over time, things can come to paralysis of the legs, lack of response to light and sound stimuli, and even coma.
  2. In the subacute phase, the cow may surprise with the use of unusual food, for example, dirty hay from the litter, the milk yield decreases or stops altogether, And because of the increase in acetone in the blood, the air exhaled by the cow and the milk itself begins to give out.
  3. The protracted form has symptoms of both groups, but not in such a pronounced form. The degree of damage to ketones is determined by analysis of blood and urine.

Betting attentive attitude to their cows, one can recognize ketosis on one's own by the behavior of the animal, lowering the fat content and frothiness of the milk, its unpleasant smell and taste. And for treatment, you need to contact a veterinarian and review the diet and composition of feed.

What treatment is recommended?

The popular methods of treatment include, first of all, the elimination of provoking factors. It is necessary to ensure the maximum nutrition of the diseased cows, adding 8-10 kg of high-quality hay and root crops. If the latter is not, you can replace them with molasses.

The silage in which a significant amount of butyric acid is contained is completely excluded. Cows are also being transferred to the same food for prophylactic purposes. In the midst of the disease, a 20–40% glucose solution, 300-600 ml 1-2 times a day, is immediately introduced into the cow. If you give it molasses (from 100 to 500 grams per day), then the ketone bodies in the blood will be 3-4 times less.

So that toxins can be removed from the body of an animal more quickly, cows can be given an enema with boiled water or 5% solution of baking soda. You can give it inside, diluting with water 2 times a day, 80-150 g. Of the drugs in the treatment of ketosis in cows make injections of vitamins and salts of polyminerals. For heart problems, caffeine is subcutaneously; atony of the preventricles is treated with tincture of a white hellebore (10–15 ml per 1 l of water).

For the treatment of a weak form of ketosis, cows are poured in by feeding in sugar, dissolving 150-500 g in water. Vitamin deficiency can be compensated with the help of premixes for cattle, up to 1 kg of freshly chopped needles can be given.

It is easier to prevent the disease than to treat it and then calculate the losses. The main thing is to remember about proper nutrition and take the cows to active walks for 2-3 km. Natural food, sun and fresh air - a guarantee that ketosis does not appear in your barn.

Ketosis Cattle - what a disease

Ketosis is a disease that occurs due to a violation of metabolic processes. The cause of failure can be unbalanced diet, lack of carbohydrates, as well as processing in the liver of a large amount of fat. Also the factor leading to the development of the disease is the absence of walks in the fresh air and calving - ketosis develops 1-3 months after the birth of the calf. If time does not determine the deterioration in the condition of the animal and delay it with treatment, the disease becomes chronic. The body begins to accumulate ketone bodies that affect internal organs. The heart, liver and endocrine glands suffer. During this period, the animal begins to experience an acute shortage of glucose.

Veterinarians warn that excessive feeding of animals with concentrated food provokes the development of ketosis. Often with this, the cow suffers from a shortage of hay and root vegetables.

Note! Often dairy cows that have reached 5-8 years old are sick with ketosis.

When ketosis disrupts the work of the scar - the largest stomach of cows. The pH decreases, muscle contraction, salivation is disturbed.

The normal amount of ketone bodies provides the body with a store of energy, but their excessive production causes the development of the disease. If you do not start treatment of ketosis in a timely manner, the milk yield will be reduced by 2 times, the weight of the animal will decrease, the risk of infertility and death of newborn calves will increase.

Symptoms of ketosis in cattle

The disease can manifest itself in every cow differently. The development of the disease is influenced by the state of the immune system, the characteristics of the body, the intensity of the influence of ketone bodies. Key features:

  • change in urine and blood counts
  • the appearance of a bitter taste in milk,
  • lethargy, loss of activity,
  • muscle spasms,
  • gnashing of teeth
  • yellowing of body areas
  • salivation,
  • arrhythmia,
  • liver hypertrophy, pain,
  • loss of appetite,
  • weight loss,
  • dullness of wool and claw horn,
  • drop in productive abilities
  • failure of the sexual cycle,
  • infertility.

The disease cannot be called innocuous - it harms both the cow itself and the whole farming. The productivity of animals after the transfer of the disease can be restored only to the next calving.

Important! Once symptoms of ketosis have been identified, treatment should begin immediately.

There are 4 forms of ketosis in total:

Subclinical form detected during urine analysis. In urine, acetone, acetoacetic acid and ketone bodies are detected. External symptoms are absent. In the acute form, irritation of the nervous system occurs, manifested in overexcitement, skin sensitivity, loss of appetite, and milk begins to smell like acetone. The subacute stage is characterized by the cessation of the formation of milk and the disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. In the chronic form, the reproductive system of the animal is disturbed, which causes the formation of cysts in the ovaries and infertility.

Ketosis treatment

To cure a sick animal, you must first determine the source of the disease. The patient should be at rest and comfort, it is important to ensure the flow of fresh air, but to prevent the formation of drafts. Water must be served slightly warmed up. It is recommended to completely replace the old litter.

  • If the reason lies in the diet, the livestock ration is completely revised. They reduce the consumption of high-protein and carbohydrate foods by increasing the amount of hay, grass and root crops.
  • Disposed of substandard feed.
  • Sick animals are given a diet - exclude concentrates, putrid food, silage.
  • To reduce the content of ketone bodies, medical therapy is prescribed, which restores the animal's metabolism.
  • Make up for the lack of nutrients - make injections of glucose, insulin, sodium bicarbonate, ammonium lactate, propylene glycol, caffeine-sodium benzoate, vitamins.
  • At disturbance of cuts of a scar infusion of a white hellebore is effective.
  • In case of aggression, sedatives are prescribed to the animal.
  • In combination with the preparations, physiotherapeutic procedures are effective: quartz treatment of the udder and massage.
  • Hormone therapy - anterior pituitary hormone is prescribed, cortisone or Dexafort.
  • Ketosis is also treated with the homeopathic remedy Karsulen. The injection is made on the 3rd, 5th and 7th day after calving.

Description and Causes

Cows are more prone to ketosis than other animals. This unpleasant disease, which is manifested in the violation of metabolic processes, develops predominantly in young productive individuals aged 6–8 years. Pathological process leads to a decrease in the amount and taste of dairy products.

Ketosis, or ketonemia, is a disease of productive cows, characterized by metabolic disorders in the direction of lower glucose levels, resulting in the accumulation of ketone bodies. The peak of the disease occurs in the spring, and it develops most often in cows in the last months of pregnancy or after calving. This trend is due to the peculiarity of the metabolism of the animal.

It is known that in cows the main source of glucose is propionic acid, which is formed in the rumen (part of the stomach). It promotes the reduction of ketone bodies, accelerates the synthesis of proteins and carbohydrates in milk. For acetic, butyric and other fatty acids, this property is not typical.

So, each cow, depending on its productivity, has a certain daily need for glucose. This amount is formed in the body from food under the influence of propionic acid. But during periods of calving, as well as before and after it, the need for feed decreases in the animal due to the release of estrogen, while the load on the body increases. As a result, glucose is not enough, and the use of reserve reserves leads to the accumulation of ketone bodies.

The main cause of the disease, of course, is a violation of the diet and diet. During pregnancy and lactation, the need for energy derived from glucose increases by 2 times, and to ensure this volume, you need an enhanced diet with a predominance of carbohydrates. Aggravating factors are a sedentary lifestyle (for example, rare walking), protein foods (concentrated feed), overweight animals.

Symptoms and diagnosis

The clinical picture depends on the course and form of the disease, and they are distinguished by three: acute, subacute and chronic. In the long run, ketosis of dairy cows leads to sad consequences: a decrease in productivity by half or more, loss of body weight, and often reproductive functions - the calf can be born weak or dead.

The disease does not develop instantly, its course can be traced by the behavior of the cow. The acute form of ketosis is characterized by nervous disorders:

  • the animal becomes agitated,
  • some muscles tremble on the body,
  • salivation increases,
  • body temperature goes down
  • the skin becomes sensitive, especially in the spine.

Soon after this phase, a period of general weakness begins. The cow loses its appetite, becomes depressed, weakly reacts to light and sound, prefers to lie down, paralysis of the hind limbs is possible.

For the subacute form is characterized by impaired digestion and appetite distortion. The animal has problems with defecation, and instead of good food, it prefers to use dirty litter hay. At the same time in the exhale of the cow, milk and urine smell of acetone. Productivity (milk yield) decreases by 2-3 times, and pathological changes occur in the body:

  • liver is hypertrophied,
  • parts of the body without hair and horn turn yellow,
  • sexual cycle is violated,
  • weakened cardiac activity.

In chronic form, any of the above symptoms may appear, but it is less pronounced. At all stages of the disease, an increased concentration of ketone bodies is detected in urine, blood and milk. For an accurate diagnosis, laboratory tests of all three fluids are carried out, the results of which are compared with the clinical picture. The quality of milk is easily verified at home. The product from a sick cow is less fat, does not foam, tastes bitter.

In laboratory studies, the so-called Lestré reagent is used. It is mixed with a small amount of milk or urine — the violet color of liquids indicates an elevated level of ketone bodies. In a blood test, beta-hydrobutyric acid is measured, which normally is 0.6 mmol / liter. Its level above 1 indicates pronounced ketosis, and above 1.5 units requires urgent treatment.

Treatment and Prevention

In order for the treatment to be effective, one should first of all balance the diet - get rid of low-quality feed (silage), reduce the amount of high-protein foods, and carbohydrate, on the contrary, increase. Hay should be given only fresh and high quality.

It is important that the sugars and proteins be in a 1: 1 ratio.

In the acute phase, a 30% glucose solution is administered intravenously 1–2 times / day (500 ml). In private farms, cows are sometimes given a sugar solution, and after an hour, insulin is injected intramuscularly (100 units). In agreement with the veterinarian, it is possible to administer within 3–5 days according to the following scheme: insulin 200 units, and after 15 minutes 40% glucose (400 ml). In this case, injections of sodium lactate are administered for 5–7 days. Depending on the severity of the disease, cardioprotectors, enzyme and vitamin preparations may be included in therapy.

Ketosis prevention consists of providing the cow with a balanced diet not only in the milk period. Every day, the animal should receive about 8 kg of high-quality hay, roots, 1 kg of concentrated feed. For 3-4 weeks before calving and after it, the energy content of feed should be increased, and the portion of concentrates should be gradually increased to 3 kg. An important component of cow health is walks at a distance of 1–2 km in any weather and season.