Ketosis in a cow: symptoms and treatment


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 the feed and lack of carbohydrates;
  • feeding on moldy feeds, predominance of oilcake or silage;
  • endocrine disruption;
  • a drop in blood glucose levels;
  • 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 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.

The chronic form of ketosis has the same symptoms as the acute, but significantly less pronounced.

Laboratory analysis at home

For accurate diagnosis of ketosis in a cow, outward signs are not enough; laboratory analysis of blood, urine and milk is needed. In small farms, the farmer often performs the functions of a veterinarian, if necessary. Diagnosis with the help of Lestré's reagent can help in this situation. With this reagent, the analysis can be done independently. It helps to get an accurate picture of the disease. Take a dry clean tube. We place the reagent into it using a sterile scalpel. Then very slowly pour in 10 ml of milk. If a cow has a disease, the milk takes on a purple color. This means that it contains an excess of ketone bodies.

Urine can also be used for analysis, especially if you need to make sure that there are no pathologies in other representatives of the cattle.

Healthy nutrition promotes healing

Ketosis treatment should be carried out in a complex. First of all, you need to balance the diet by limiting the amount of foods high in protein. Silage and products with a large amount of acetic and buty acids should be removed from the diet. Sick animals is useful to use large amounts of fresh, high-quality hay and root crops.

The proposed diet is such a treatment that will help restore normal blood glucose levels and the correct balance of acids and alkalis in the body. As a result, the work of the gastrointestinal tract is normalized. Experts especially recommend the use of beets, barley more actively as feed, and add molasses to fresh hay and other feed.

Drug treatment methods

If special diets and proper nutrition are not enough for recovery, the next step may be intravenous glucose injections with novocaine. The required amount of the drug can be calculated according to the following system: for 25 kg of cow's weight, there are 0, 25 g of novocaine, which is diluted in 300 ml of 20% glucose solution. A more advanced form of the disease is treated with the help of intravenous injections of glucose in the amount of 500-600 ml. Injections are given once or twice a day.

Glucose contributes to a significant reduction in ketone bodies. Additionally, you can add sugar to your pet. Perfectly established a mixture of Sharabrin. It is a solution containing in one liter of distilled water - 9 g of calcium chloride; 100 g of glucose; 13 g bicarbonate soda; 0.5 g caffeine; 0.5 g of potassium and calcium chloride; 500 mg of streptomycin or penicillin.

How to avoid the disease

The danger of ketosis in livestock farms is not only in reducing yields. In the most difficult cases of the disease, calves are born weak. It happens that a cow loses its ability to produce offspring. To avoid the effects of the disease, ketosis prevention is necessary.

Activities include the supply of fresh and high-quality food in sufficient quantities. The animal needs to be in the fresh air more often and moderately to move. Walks over a distance of 1 kilometer make it possible to absorb excess ketone bodies. Feeders need to be kept clean. The number of root crops in the feed should be at least 15%, and concentrates - at least 30%.

It is especially important to monitor the feeding of cows before calving. During this period, the amount of energy-rich feed should normally be at least 3 kg per day.

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