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In ketosis, you can provide Propylene glycol. That will eventually save 10 euros per cow.

One health risk around calving is ketosis. With a digital blood ketosis tester, subclinical sick cows, i.e. not visibly sick, can be recognised and temporarily treated. Subclinically sick animals have a BHB (beta hydroxybutyrate) value of more than 1.2 mmol per litre of blood. A study in North America showed that performing the ketosis test pays off. Cows with subclinical ketosis after calving were immediately given 300 ml of propylene glycol per day for five days. This yielded 0.75 kg more milk per cow per day and resulted in less abomasal twisting and fewer involuntary cow culls.

Ketosis situation different in each herd

Taken together, early donation of propylene glycol results in a €10 benefit per cow. It is possible that ketosis measuring equipment is more expensive here than in North America and thus the benefit is slightly lower. German studies (Heuweiser, Free University of Berlin) showed that more than half of subclinical ketosis cases occur between the 14th and 42nd lactation days. To find out to what extent and at what time ketosis occurs in a flock, you can use electronic measuring devices. Those working with them should test five to 10 cows every week from the third day of lactation. Record the measurement data, this way you monitor the ketosis situation. At the following measurement values you can:

  • <15%, start measuring ketosis monthly
  • 15-20% continue to measure ketosis weekly and give propylene glycol
  • >40% give all cows propylene glycol

If structurally too high BHB values are measured, management measures should be taken. Evaluate feeding and housing. A ratio of 1 to 1 between eating and lying areas, for example, is the best basis for high feed intake.

Source: Elite, trade magazine for real dairy farmers (edition: 2/2016)

Dr Martin Höltershinken (TiHo Hannover) discusses problems from practice

The MultiDos for precise and individual administration of propylene glycol, among other things, learn more click here.

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