A result of a blood sample from dairy cows, used to detect ketosis. Photo: Bryce Richter
A result of a blood sample from dairy cows, used to detect ketosis.

N&H TOPLINE: Simpler test for ketosis helps dairies

Even though ketosis costs around $290 per cow, it’s often not diagnosed, because blood tests are laborious and expensive.

On dairy farms, ketosis can be a “silent killer” that is caused by excessive toxic particles released by the liver, usually when a cow starts to produce milk after giving birth.

The start of lactation is the moment of maximum metabolic stress for a dairy cow, when her overworked liver can crank out molecules called ketones. Ketones provide energy to other tissues in the body but, if excessive, can reduce milk output, set the stage for disease and even cause the cow to be c

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