Prevalence of subclinical ketosis and production diseases in dairy cows in Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Eastern Europe1

Brunner, Nikolaus; Groeger, Stephan; Canelas Raposo, Joao; Bruckmaier, Rupert M.; Gross, Josef J. (2019). Prevalence of subclinical ketosis and production diseases in dairy cows in Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Eastern Europe1. Translational animal science, 3(1), pp. 19-27. American Society of Animal Science 10.1093/tas/txy102

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Subclinical ketosis (SCK) and periparturient diseases considerably account for economic and welfare losses in dairy cows. The majority of scientific reports investigating the prevalence of SCK and production diseases are based on empirical studies conducted in Western Europe and North America. The present study surveyed the prevalence of SCK and production-related clinical diseases in early lactating cows in various countries across the world other than those in North America and Western Europe. Twelve countries of South and Central America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico), Africa (South Africa), Asia (Thailand, China), Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine), Australia, and New Zealand were assessed, and data from a total of 8,902 cows kept at 541 commercial dairy farms were obtained. A minimum of five cows per farm were blood sampled and examined once after parturition up to day 21 of lactation. Blood concentration of β-hydroxybutyrate was measured (threshold for SCK: 1.2 mmol/L), and the presence of production-related diseases such as milk fever, retained placenta, mastitis, metritis, displaced abomasum, lameness, and clinical ketosis was recorded. More than 95% of all cows were examined in their second week of lactation. Across all investigated countries, the SCK prevalence was 24.1%, ranging from 8.3% up to 40.1%. The prevalence of production-related diseases detected during the first 21 d of lactation was relatively low (<5%). Calculated odds ratios did not indicate an elevated risk for production diseases in cows with SCK. Despite differences in production systems across countries and variation between individual farms within a region, the present study data on SCK prevalence align with observations in Western European and North American dairy herds. At the very early stage of sampling and clinical examination for detection of SCK, it cannot be excluded that certain production diseases such as displaced abomasum, lameness, and mastitis have developed later.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Physiology

UniBE Contributor:

Bruckmaier, Rupert and Gross, Josef Johann


500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)




American Society of Animal Science




Josef Johann Gross

Date Deposited:

08 Jan 2019 11:26

Last Modified:

03 Feb 2021 04:05

Publisher DOI:





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