Ketosis can expose cows to many more conditions - how to check for it
When a cow calves she must increase the intake of food at this time or at the very least the energy density should increase.
Anything that may affect her appetite or reduce feed intake must be avoided. It is important to ensure food being eaten has adequate energy in it.
A cow naturally will dip into negative energy after calving (for up to 6-8 weeks) which is where food intake can’t match output. We must minimise this period of negative energy as it can potentially have a negative long-term impact on the immune function and even production of the cow.
When a cow dips into this negative energy she ‘milks off her back’. All this means is that she will break down fat reserves to fill this energy gap.
This is okay for a short period but if it occurs long term or quickly it results in a condition called ketosis or more commonly subclinical ketosis which can be a build-up of the by-products of this fat breakdown called ketones.
If this condition persists for a prolonged period it can reduce appetite and depress immunity. This is very much like a gateway condition; simply put it predisposes the cow to so many more conditions.
Its reduction in appetite can also strongly link it with displaced abomasam. This is where the abomasum or true stomach will flip out of position mainly due to decreased feed intakes.
Ketosis is one of the reasons we see an increase in all sorts of infections in cows from mastitis to metritis post calving.