Send to

Choose Destination
Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract. 2004 Nov;20(3):651-74.

Monitoring and testing dairy herds for metabolic disease.

Author information

Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Clinical impressions of metabolic disease problems in dairy herds can be corroborated with herd-based metabolic testing. Ruminal pH should be evaluated in herds showing clinical signs associated with SARA (lame cows, thin cows, high herd removals or death loss across all stages of lactation, or milk fat depression). Testing a herd for the prevalence of SCK via blood BHB sampling in early lactation is useful in almost any dairy herd, and particularly if the herd is experiencing a high incidence of displaced abomasum or high removal rates of early lactation cows. If cows are experiencing SCK within the first 3 weeks of lactation, then consider NEFA testing of the prefresh cows to corroborate prefresh negative energy balance. Finally, monitoring cows on the day of calving for parturient hypocalcemia can provide early detection of diet-induced problems in calcium homeostasis. If hypocalcemia problems are present despite supplementing anionic salts before calving, then it may be helpful to evaluate mean urinary pH of a group of the prefresh cows. Quantitative testing strategies based on statistical analyses can be used to establish minimum sample sizes and interpretation guidelines for all of these tests.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center