The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, major management systems, and fresh cow clinical conditions associated with ketosis in western European dairy herds. A total of 131 dairies were enrolled in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom during 2011 to 2012. A milk-based test for ketones (Keto-Test; Sanwa Kagaku Kenkyusho Co. Ltd., Nagoya, Japan; distributed by Elanco Animal Health, Antwerp, Belgium) was used for screening cows between d 7 and 21 after calving and ketosis was defined as a Keto-Test ≥100µmol/L. Study cows were observed for clinical disease up to 35d postcalving. Multivariate analysis (generalized estimating equation logistic regression) was performed to determine country, farm, management, feed, and cow factors associated with ketosis and to determine associations between ketosis and fresh cow diseases. Thirty-nine percent of the cows were classified as having ketosis. The herd average of ketosis was 43% in Germany, 53% in France, 31% in Italy, 46% in the Netherlands, and 31% in the United Kingdom. Of the 131 farms, 112 (85%) had 25% or more of their fresh cows resulting as positive for ketosis. Clinical ketosis was not reported in most farms and the highest level of clinical ketosis reported was 23%. The risks of ketosis were significantly lower in Italy and the United Kingdom compared with France, the Netherlands, and Germany. Larger herd size was associated with a decreased risk of ketosis. The farms that fed partially mixed rations had 1.5 times higher odds of ketosis than those that fed total mixed rations. Cows that calved in April to June had the highest odds of ketosis, with about twice as high odds compared with cows that calved in July to September. The cows that calved in January to March tended to have 1.5 times higher risk of ketosis compared with cows that calved in July to September. The odds of ketosis in parity 2 and parity 3 to 7 was significantly higher (1.5 and 2.8 times higher, respectively) than the odds of ketosis in parity 1. The odds of ketosis was significantly smaller in parity 2 compared with parity 3 to 7. Ketosis was associated with significantly higher odds of all common fresh cow conditions: metritis, mastitis, displaced abomasum, clinical ketosis, lameness, and gastrointestinal disorders. Odds of ketosis in cows having had twins or dystocia were not increased, whereas higher odds of ketosis were observed in cows with milk fever or retained placenta.
Keywords: ketosis; milk ketone; postpartum disease; prevalence.
Copyright © 2014 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.