Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

Early detection of ketosis can provide invaluable data

Early detection of ketosis can provide dairy farmers with invaluable data to improve their cattle’s health and productivity. 

In a health monitoring program, a cow’s ketone levels can be measured in milk, blood or urine samples weekly for two to three weeks post-calving. Advancements in milking systems are incorporating ketone measurement into the milking routine and may offer more opportunities for insights into the disease.

Khaled Gohary, a recent PhD graduate in Population Medicine, is working with milking equipment manufacturer DeLaval and the University of Guelph to study DeLaval’s Herd Navigator herd management system. Gohary is completing the research through a Mitacs Accelerate internship, funded in partnership with DeLaval Canada. With Mitacs Accelerate support, postdoctoral fellows apply their specialized expertise to business-related research challenges, spending half their time working with the industry partner and the remainder at the university advancing the research under the guidance of a faculty supervisor. Gohary’s supervisor is Dr. Stephen LeBlanc, Population Medicine.

Herd Navigator measures key health indicators related to ketosis, mastitis, reproductive performance, and nutrition. The Herd Navigator system can sample a cow’s milk during milking and, based on a mathematical risk assessment for each cow, determine which indicators will be measured at a particular milking, taking into account the cow’s stage of lactation, reproductive status, and recent test results.

The system allows for daily sampling and provides a greater scope of monitoring and interpretation than is practical with conventional methods. Gohary’s research will focus on gaining new insights into the patterns and impacts of ketosis and development of strategies for early response to ketosis. Cows with ketosis are at risk of developing other diseases, such as displaced abomasum and metritis which affect both health and productivity. “Can we use this information to analyze the pattern of disease?” he says. “How long do animals stay ill? We can look at one day of higher level ketones versus three days and relate that to their milk production.”

Gohary completed his DVM in Egypt and a herd health residency at University of California and defended his PhD at OVC late last year. He began the Mitacs Fellowship in April 2014 and is now in the process of collecting data from many of the 20-plus herds using this technology in Canada.

Cows will still be treated conventionally when diagnosed, but Gohary’s research may also offer insight into treatment. Next steps will include a clinical trial in spring 2015 to look at ketosis treatment. “If we start treatment earlier, is that intervention helpful to cows?” he adds.

The Herd Navigator system also measures progesterone which indicates pregnancy status and ovarian activity. Future research could also analyze ketone patterns to see if high ketone levels affect progesterone levels after calving and the cow’s ability to get pregnant.

Follow us @OntVetCollege

Views: 131

Comments are closed for this blog post

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau speaks with Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, Victor Villalobos and US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau spoke with Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Victor Villalobos and US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue as part of their continued collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Winners of the Excellence Award for Ag Students Have Been Selected!

Farm Management Canada (FMC) and the Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture Programs (CADAP) are proud to announce the winners of the 2019-2020 Excellence Award for Ag Students Competition.

Re-thinking the future of labour in Canadian agriculture

What do farmers have in common with high-tech solutions, software and data-driven results? Everything, according to a recent RBC report, Farmer 4.0: How the coming skills revolution can transform agriculture.

Pest monitoring in Saskatchewan: Why it is important and how you can get involved

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture (SMA) and its partners monitor for crop pests, including insects, diseases and weeds. The information from the monitoring is used to create forecast maps, guide research decisions, detect and track new or emerging pests, and support management decisions.

Efforts to Contain Coronavirus Helping Slow Influenza

A Veterinary Pathologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine says efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus are helping slow the movement of influenza among both people and pigs.

© 2020   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service