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What Effect Does Subclinical Ketosis Have On Reproduction?

06 January 2015

An scientific overview paper has collated evidence quantifying the health implications of subclinical ketosis.

Many studies have shown that subclinical ketosis is associated with an increased risk of developing various diseases, reproductive disorders and changes in milk production, writes the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council.

A meta-analysis published in the December Journal of Dairy Science examined the relationship between subclinical ketosis and increased disease risk to help quantify the connection.

Results indicate that the relative risk (95 per cent confidence interval) for cows with subclinical ketosis to have the following additional health challenges is:

  • Abomasal displacement – 3.33 times more likely
  • Clinical ketosis – 5.38 times more likely
  • Early culling and death – 1.92 times more likely
  • Metritis – 1.75 times more likely
  • Placental retention – 1.52 times more likely
  • Clinical mastitis – 1.61 times more likely
  • Lameness – 2.01 times more likely
  • Doubling of SCC – 1.42 times more likely

In addition, the calving-to-first-service interval was eight days longer and the calving-to-conception interval was 16 to 22 days longer in cows with subclinical ketosis.

The researchers note that further studies on the associations between subclinical ketosis and the risks of diseases, changes in milk production and reproductive parameters are needed.


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