[Vitamin B12 supplementation and milk production on farms with 'chronic wasting' cattle]

Tijdschr Diergeneeskd. 2001 Mar 15;126(6):218-23.
[Article in Dutch]


From early 1999 onwards, cattle health problems accompanied by chronic wasting of unknown aetiology were reported on a number of dairy farms. An association between these health problems and the compulsory use of gE-negative marker vaccines against bovine herpesvirus 1 was presumed by farmers. On one dairy farm an increased milk production of 50% was reported within a few days after parenteral vitamin B12 treatment. Therefore, the current study was designed to determine the effect of parenteral vitamin B12 treatment on the milk production of dairy herds with wasting cattle. A randomized blind trial was performed in five problem herds and two control herds. On each farm five lactating cows were injected intramuscularly with 20 mg vitamin B12 and paired with five untreated lactating cows. The milk production of treated and untreated animals was measured for 19 days following treatment and compared to pre-treatment production. No effect of vitamin B12 treatment on milk production was established on either problem farms or control farms. Neither was a difference detected in the response to vitamin B12 treatment between problem herds and control herds. In a second experiment, parenteral vitamin B12 treatment was applied in three problem herds by local veterinary practitioners. The results of this experiment were in line with the results of the first experiment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Injections, Intramuscular / veterinary
  • Lactation / drug effects*
  • Lactation / physiology
  • Milk / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Vitamin B 12 / administration & dosage*
  • Wasting Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Wasting Syndrome / veterinary*


  • Vitamin B 12