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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1996 May 15;208(10):1702-4.

Use of corticosteroids alone or combined with glucose to treat ketosis in dairy cows.

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  • 1Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.



To compare relative efficacy of dexamethasone and flumethasone alone or in combination with rapid IV infusion of glucose for treatment of ketosis in cattle.


Clinical trial.


127 cows with urine acetoacetate concentration > or = 60 mg/dl.


Cows were treated with 500 ml of 50% glucose solution. IV, and 40 mg of dexamethasone, IM (group 1), 40 mg of dexamethasone, IM (group 2), 5 mg of flumethasone (group 3), or 500 ml of 50% glucose solution, IV, and 5 mg of flumethasone (group 4). Treatment success was defined as recovery after a single treatment without relapse during the same lactation. Uterine disease (retained placenta or metritis), parity, and pretreatment plasma glucose, serum beta-hydroxybutyric acid, and urine acetoacetate concentrations were evaluated as possible confounding factors affecting recovery.


Only uterine disease was found to have a significant effect on recovery. Treatments 1 and 4 were significantly more efficacious than was treatment 2, but efficacy of treatment 2 was not significantly different from that of treatment 3. Regardless of treatment, cows with uterine disease were less likely to have a successful outcome than were cows without uterine disease. In all treatment groups, plasma glucose concentration increased and serum beta-hydroxybutyric acid and urine acetoacetate concentrations decreased following treatment.


In this study, treatment of ketosis in dairy cattle with a corticosteriod alone was less efficacious than treatment with glucose and a corticosteroid.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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