Propylene glycol helps fresh cows with subclinical ketosis

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Although propylene glycol has long been used to treat clinical ketosis, its effect on subclinical ketosis has not been studied.

However, recent advances that have made it easier to diagnose subclinical ketosis also have opened the door for researchers to study the effect of treatment strategies on subclinical ketosis in early-lactation cows.

According to the results of a field trial conducted by researchers at Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin, oral propylene glycol was an effective treatment for subclinical ketosis-positive cows. Here is what the field trial found:

  • Propylene glycol-treated cows were 1.5 times more likely to resolve their subclinical ketosis than control cows.
  • Treated cows were 0.54 times less likely to develop clinical ketosis than control cows.
  • In some of the herds enrolled in the trial, treated cows produced about 1.5 pounds more milk per day during the first 30 days of lactation than control cows.

Source: Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Sept. 22-24, 2011

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