The subclinical ketosis is "invisible" and can only be detected by the measurement of the ketone bodies. The characteristics:
- Increased concentration of ketone bodies in blood
- No visible symptoms of a disease
- But already decreased performance, fertility disorders and increased risk for other diseases!
→ The production performance can therefore be decreased without any externally apparent symptoms of the animal!
Every third dairy cow is affected by subclinical ketosis during early lactation! With severe consequences:
- Decreased milk production
- Impaired reproductive performance
- Increased risk of displaced abomasum
- Impairment of the immune system – higher risk of infectious diseases
- Increased odds of claw diseases
- Increased risk of early culling – total loss of the animal
- Higher risk of clinical ketosis: considerably higher economic losses!
Subclinical ketosis is more common than clinical ketosis and therefore in total responsible for a much higher loss of earnings! The disease remains undetected if ketones are not measured. Therefore dairy cows should be monitored routinely for subclinical ketosis!