• Ketone bodies are “the killers” being responsible for all subsequent negative effects (oxidative stress/ oxygen radicals)

  • Early detection and interference are key to prevent clinical effects and economical losses caused by ketone bodies! Go and check your dry cows’ feed intake and BCS on regular scale

  • Undetected subclinical ketosis can also lead to cellular damages, immunosuppression and in consequence increased incidence of secondary diseases e.g. mastitis, metritis and ketosis Go and check regularly blood BHBA levels of your fresh cows!

  • Did you ever wonder about your poor first service conception rates? SCK could be one of the causes you can fix to improve reproductive outcome.

  • Did you already know? Latest investigations reveal a strong correlation between excessive loss of BCS and increased risk of lameness. Go for our updated BCS Cowdition App to get in control of your herd.

  • Negative impact of (subclinical) ketosis on milk yields and subsequent diseases still seems to be underestimated Take your time to make a cost-benefit calculation

Subclinical ketosis

Subclinical ketosis

Subclinical ketosis (SCK) is an important condition of dairy cows during the transition period.

It is defined as increased blood concentration of ß-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) without any clinical signs. 29

The most commonly used blood BHBA threshold to diagnose SCK in individual cows is between 1.2 to 1.4 mmol/L. 24, 29, 31, 33, 34

Prevalence of SCK varies between 10.2 and 43.2 % within the first three weeks of lactation.24, 35, 36, 37, 38

SCK is associated with

  • increased risk of postpartum diseases (Table 1)
  • decreased milk yields 36, 37
  • impaired fertility (e.g. low first service conception rates) 39
Blood BHBA concentration[mmol/L]DiseaseTime p.p.Increased risk (odds ratio)
≥ 1.2Displaced abomasum (DA)1st week2.6 36
≥ 1.0Displaced abomasum (DA)days 3 - 146.9 41
≥ 1.2Metritis1st week3.4 36
≥ 1.0Metritisdays 3 - 142.3 41
≥ 1.0Clinical ketosisdays 3 - 144.9 41

The economic impact of SCK is significant.

* see also our references page