Causes of ketosis in cows

Ketosis in cows is one of the most common ailments in highly productive individuals. The disease accompanies a metabolic disorder, which leads to an overabundance of ketone compounds in the animal’s body. Often affected individuals of the age category 5-8 years. Delayed treatment leads to the conversion of the disease into a protracted one.

  1. What is the danger of the disease?
  2. Why does
  3. Symptomatic picture
  4. How to diagnose
  5. What will be the treatment
  6. Warning
  7. Conclusion

Кетоз у коров

Ketosis in cows

What danger of an illness?

The course can be very different, depending on the content of ketone compounds in the blood, from a subclinical course without manifestations to a neuroparalytic form and even le The most common manifestations of the disease are observed 10 days after the birth of the calf. Onset of lactation, hormonal failure and stress do not allow the animal to consume as much food as is necessary to compensate for the energy expended and the increased needs of the body.

Stress provokes a sharp intense the breakdown of your own subcutaneous fat, which leads to exhaustion. The increased content of ketone bodies reduces appetite, which only exacerbates the course of the disease. The compounds also adversely affect liver cells. With mass death of liver cells, all body functions are violated.

The subclinical period is very dangerous, because due to the accumulation of ketone bodies, the internal secretory function is inhibited, which provokes the development of various diseases.

  1. A decrease in the activity of the parathyroid gland leads to a block in the absorption of calcium. As a result, secondary osteodystrophy, an ovarian cyst will manifest. Blood tests will show a lack of calcium, as well as a decrease in reserve alkalinity.
  2. Repression is impaired when the hypothalamus and pituitary are inhibited. Ovarian hypofunction or intrauterine mortality is often observed.

Why it occurs

Because of the characteristics of metabolism, cows are among the animals prone to developing ketosis. Carbohydrates enter the blood vessels as normal fatty acids, not as glucose. Of these, only propionic acid is converted to glucose. The remaining acids are converted to ketone compounds.

Often, ketosis in cows occurs within 90 days after calving. The development of pathology is associated with increased lactation, which requires high energy costs. Energy, in turn, is generated due to the presence of glucose in the blood. Reasons:

  1. insufficient amount of natural foods in the diet;
  2. the predominance of protein foods in food;
  3. lack of energy during the feeding of offspring;
  4. foods with a high content of butyric acids, which are converted to ketone compounds;
  5. lack of vitamins and minerals;
  6. obesity;
  7. low activity.

Symptomatic picture

The disease is usually divided into three forms: acute, subacute, lingering. Symptoms of the acute period in dairy cows: nervous disorders, tremor of muscles of the whole body, grinding teeth, increased salivation, constant movement of the animal, increased susceptibility of the skin along the spine. Over time, the cow weakens, sometimes falls into a coma, some individuals have paralysis of the hind legs, there are almost no reactions to sound and light, body temperature is lowered.

Symptoms of the subacute period are characterized by digestive disorders, which provokes unusual eating habits , that is, the animal begins to consume bedding hay with feces instead of good hay and combined feeds. Acetone rises in the blood, which makes the smell of exhaled air characteristic, and causes acidosis. Milking yields are reduced, and in the most severe cases, the cow may stop giving milk at all.

The symptoms of a protracted form are similar to the two previous ones, but they manifest themselves to a lesser extent. Any form of the disease is accompanied by the accumulation of ketone substances, which can be determined by blood or urine tests. Their concentration will determine the severity of the disease.

How to make a diagnosis

Symptoms and treatment of ketosis is an important point. To establish an accurate diagnosis, you need to analyze the symptoms and conduct laboratory tests.The change in the quality of dairy products can be analyzed independently at home. A characteristic sign of ketosis is a decrease in milk frothiness, the appearance of a bitter taste, and a decrease in fat content.

As soon as the first signs of the disease have been detected, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian and begin treatment. Effective methods include eliminating the provoking factor. It is necessary to carefully review the diet of the animal. Food should be as natural as possible. Every day, the cow is given 9-10 kg of hay and the same number of root crops.

What will be the treatment

Ketosis and treatment with folk remedies implies the exclusion of poor-quality feed from the diet of sick animals primarily silage, which contains butyric acid. Food should be balanced. The amount of proteins and carbohydrates consumed by the body should be 1: 1, sometimes an increase in the amount of proteins is allowed. You can put an enema with boiled water to help the body quickly remove toxins. Ketosis in cattle should be treated based on two rules.

  1. There should be enough glucose in the blood.
  2. The most important thing is reliable protection of hepatocytes (liver cells). To protect them, hepatoprotectors are used in the therapeutic regimen. In cases where the disease is accompanied by pathology, emergency drugs are used glucocorticoids.The use of this type of drug should be prescribed by a doctor and take place only under his supervision.

From medicines, injections of vitamin complexes, as well as salts of polyminerals, are indicated. During exacerbation, a course of glucose treatment is indicated. A 40% solution is introduced 2 times a day. If glucose treatment lasts longer than 3 days, you must use insulin at the same time.

Ketosis in cows // signs // treatment
Clinical ketosis. Therapy. Clinical ketosis. Therapy.
Treatment of clinical ketosis in cows. Treatment of clinical ketosis in cows.

To reduce the concentration of ketone, together with glucose, the cow is given up to 1 kg of molasses per day. When heart problems occur, caffeine is administered subcutaneously. With overexcitation, sedatives are connected.


Prevention of the ailment in cattle is a properly selected diet:

  1. diet: 8 kg of hay , 20% root crops, 30% concentrated feed;
  2. if there are no root crops, molasses must be present in the diet;
  3. during pregnancy, it is necessary to carefully monitor that the animal receives a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals;
  4. it is recommended to introduce vitamins intramuscularly in spring and autumn;
  5. it is important to monitor the weight of the wives well-known: in winter you need to walk cattle at least once a week.

Active walking is a good prevention of ketosis not only in the cold season, but also in the summer heat. Physical activity causes the muscles to absorb ketone bodies from the blood. Suspecting something is wrong, it is necessary to pass tests.


The appearance of ketosis in cows is caused by metabolic disorders in the animal body. Animals are at risk because of the breakdown and conversion of carbohydrates into butyric acids, rather than glucose. Often observed in highly productive dairy cows.

Treating the disease is quite difficult.The main preventive method is to ensure proper nutrition. The ratio of proteins to carbohydrates should be in an amount of 1: 1, for a solid cow – 1.5: 1. About a month before calving, it is necessary to gradually begin to increase the amount of carbohydrates.

It is important to carry out seasonal vitamin therapy. In the spring, almost everything: both animals and people – suffer from vitamin deficiencies, so the introduction of intramuscularly complex drugs will not hurt. The next course of vitamin therapy should be carried out in the autumn in order to maintain livestock immunity for the entire period of rains and cold weather.

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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