(Guelph, ON - November 20, 2014) CanWest DHI is pleased to announce the introduction of a convenient and cost-effective Ketosis milk test.
Dairy producers and their advisors understand the importance of a successful transition period and early lactation. However, Ketosis continues to be a common problem on many farms. Studies have shown that both subclinical and clinical Ketosis results in lower milk production, higher risk of mastitis and metabolic diseases as well as a negative impact on reproduction, all adding up to significant cost.
For that reason, some will monitor the level of Ketosis in the herd with the use of on farm tests. The new milk test from DHI now provides another testing option to help monitor the level of subclinical Ketosis in the herd.
The Ketoscreen test from DHI uses the regularly collected DHI samples and measures the concentration of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), a ketone body, which when found in high levels is an indication of the risk for Ketosis. Results from the DHI milk test have been shown to correlate well with on farm BHB tests.
As the name implies, the Ketoscreen service is meant to be a herd screening tool that provides an overview and trend of the ketosis status and risk in the herd. Results can be used to help assess and monitor the dry and early lactation periods, with a focus on prevention and reduction of Ketosis. Without regular measuring, it is difficult to monitor and make improvements.
According to Richard Cantin, Manager of Customer Service for DHI, convenience will be a key selling point of this new service. “Collecting a blood, urine or milk sample for on farm ketosis testing is time consuming and inconvenient which means it often doesn’t get done. The fact that the DHI sample can now be used makes it incredibly convenient.”
Dr. Todd Duffield, well known Ketosis expert from the Ontario Veterinary College comments. “Subclinical Ketosis is costly and often under recognized on farms. The priority should be on prevention through best management of the dry and early lactation period. But in order to know where you’re at, you need to test and monitor. The DHI option provides another tool and herds should discuss with their advisors and give it strong consideration.”
Duffield adds, “on the other hand it is important to remember that due to the DHI testing frequency, many cows will miss being BHB tested by DHI in the ideal 5 to 15 days in milk period. Therefore, the DHI Ketosis test is best suited as a herd indicator to complement routine on farm cow testing.”
The service will be available from DHI starting December 1st. For more information, talk to your veterinarian, nutritionist, and local DHI representative or contact DHI at 1-800-549-4373.