The Keto-Test is an important tool for diagnosing ketosis in dairy cows. The manufacturer recommends that the test be performed with test strips and milk at room temperature. So, researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Guelph set out to determine if variations in milk temperature could affect the results, since the most practical place for dairy producers to use the strip is in the milking parlor where there is limited time for milk to cool to room temperature.

They performed a study on 118 fresh cows at a commercial dairy in central Michigan. Keto-Test strips were used to detect BHBA concentrations in milk samples collected in a parlor setting. Based on the results, the authors concluded that the reliability of the Keto-Test is not dependent on the temperature of the milk or test strips.

“Satisfactory subclinical ketosis testing can still be carried out when test strips are used at cold temperature (51.4 degrees F) or when fresh milk immediately from the cow is used,” they wrote in the March edition of the Journal of Dairy Science.

Yet, they did hedge their bets against really extreme parlor temperatures.

Read the abstract.