Acta Vet. Brno 2012, 81: 359-364

Changes in the blood indicators and body condition of high yielding Holstein cows with retained placenta and ketosis

Zenon Nogalski, Marek Wroński, Beata Lewandowska, Paulina Pogorzelska

University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Department of Cattle Breeding and Milk Quality Evaluation, Olsztyn, Poland

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of changes in body condition in the dry period and the early lactation period on the incidence of retained placenta and ketosis in 94 high-yielding Holstein-Friesian cows. Body condition scoring was performed every two weeks from the beginning of the dry period until week 18 of lactation. Blood for the measuring of indicators of metabolism was sampled in weeks 1 and 2 ante partum and in weeks 1, 2, 3, 7 and 15 post partum. Retained placenta was reported in 11 cows, and ketosis was diagnosed in 18 animals. One week ante partum, the serum profile of cows diagnosed with ketosis during lactation revealed 0.52 mmol/l β-hydroxybutyric acid and 0.29 mmol/l non-esterified fatty acids on average. One week post partum, the serum profile of cows with ketosis revealed 1.59 mmol/l β-hydroxybutyric acid and 1.09 mmol/l non-esterified fatty acids and cows with retained placenta 1.65 and 1.41, respectively. From the week 5 ante partum to the point of lowest body condition the average body condition loss reached 1.4 points in cows with retained placenta, 1.1 points in cows with ketosis, and 0.8 points in healthy cows. Retained placenta and ketosis increased significantly conception rates by 0.47 and 0.50, respectively. Our results show that monitoring changes in the body condition and non-esterified fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyric acid blood levels in high-yielding cows in the transition period, followed by taking relevant disease-control measures, may be effective in reducing the incidence of retained placenta and ketosis in dairy cattle herds.


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