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Changes in blood β-hydroxybutyrate and glucose concentrations during dry and lactation periods in Iranian Holstein cows

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Abstract

Clinical and subclinical ketoses are important metabolic diseases in dairy cattle during early lactation and are associated with losses in milk production and several other periparturient diseases. Limited information is available regarding the prevalence of clinical and subclinical ketoses in dairy herds in Iran. The objectives of this study were (1) to detect serum β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and glucose concentrations during pre- and postparturition periods, (2) to investigate the correlation between the blood concentrations of BHB and glucose pre- and postpartum, and (3) to establish a cutoff point of blood BHB concentration for detection of subclinical ketosis (SCK) in Iranian Holstein cow. In the present study, blood BHB and glucose concentrations of 13 Iranian Holstein cows (4–6 years old) from three commercial dairy herds were measured at 60, 30, and 7 days before and 30 and 60 days after calving. Cows had the highest concentration of BHB and the lowest concentration of glucose at 30 days postpartum period, which were significantly (p < 0.05) different from the prepartum period. High negative correlation coefficients (p < 0.05) were observed between serum BHB and glucose concentrations at 7 days prepartum (r = −0.84) and 30 days postpartum (r = −0.76) periods. The distribution of blood BHB concentrations seemed to suggest a cutoff point of 1,200 μmol/l to distinguish healthy cows from cows with SCK. At this cutoff point, 15.4% of cows had serum BHB concentration higher than the cutoff point of 1,200 μmol/l. The results of this study showed that the concentration of blood BHB during lactation is significantly higher than in the dry period, possibly due to higher energy demands of animals at this time, and the peak prevalence of SCK occurs in the first month after calving.

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Correspondence to Mehdi Sakha.

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Sakha, M., Ameri, M. & Rohbakhsh, A. Changes in blood β-hydroxybutyrate and glucose concentrations during dry and lactation periods in Iranian Holstein cows. Comp Clin Pathol 15, 221–226 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00580-006-0650-2

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