Long term milk fever is also referred to as Ketosis. The problem of ketosis usually occurs a few days after the start of lactation when a cow has calved. The cow is then in a so-called negative energy balance, which means that the cow can no longer get enough energy from the daily ration. Actually, the rumen then stops. Cows become slow and the appetite decreases further during the indication of ketosis, most cows emit an acetone smell that can easily be smelled.
What causes ketosis?
Because the cow has used so much energy during calving, an intake of food and energy after calving is a must. If the intake of energy is less than the energy the cow needs, the cow will get into a negative energy balance. As a result, the cow will break down its own body fat during this process, and so called ketones are formed. A cow can only process small amounts of this waste. If this becomes too much, the metabolic disease ketosis will develop.
Consequences of ketosis?
Ketosis causes a reduced resistance. As a result, the cow becomes much more vulnerable to all kinds of discomforts such as; mastitis, clinical lameness, uterine inflammation, abomasum twisting. In view of the costs of these disorders, it is therefore absolutely advisable to treat cows immediately after calving in order to prevent ketosis.
Treatment of or reducing the risk of ketosis?
After having read the above, it is important to take the cow out of the negative energy balance and this can actually not be done by just supplementing the lack of energy. If you only replenish energy by means of a propylene glycol, you will often see that a cow relapses after a few days and you are back to normal. But what does work? In addition to energy, it is very important to reactivate the cow's rumen. This allows the cow to get energy out of the ration again.
Prevention is better than cure!
Of course prevention is the best. There are two methods that considerably reduce the number of cases in ketosis:
Constant supply of Toprium just before and about 60 to 80 days after calving or supplying a bolus for dry periods like the Cow Rocket or the Cattle Bullet. Should you need a boost in claw health, the UNO Dry is recommended.