A field trial on the effect of propylene glycol on milk yield and resolution of ketosis in fresh cows diagnosed with subclinical ketosis.J Dairy Sci. 2011 Dec; 94(12):6011-20.JD
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of oral propylene glycol (PG) administration on ketosis resolution and milk yield in cows diagnosed with subclinical ketosis (SCK). Cows from 4 freestall dairy herds (2 in New York and 2 in Wisconsin) were each tested 6 times for SCK from 3 to 16 d in milk on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Subclinical ketosis was defined as a β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) concentration of 1.2 to 2.9 mmol/L, [corrected] and clinical ketosis was defined as ≥ 3.0 mmol/L. [corrected]. Cows with SCK were randomized to the treatment group (oral PG) or control group (no PG); treatment cows were drenched with 300 mL of PG once daily from the day they tested 1.2 to 2.9 mmol/L [corrected] until the day they tested <1.2 mmol/L. [corrected]. Outcomes evaluated for all farms included time from SCK until BHBA test <1.2 mmol/L [corrected] or until BHBA test ≥ 3.0 mmol/L. [corrected]. Individual milk weights for the first 30 d of lactation were evaluated for the 3 farms monitoring daily milk. Semiparametric proportional hazards models were used to evaluate time to event outcomes; repeated-measures ANOVA was used to assess milk weights. A total of 741 of 1,717 (43.2%) eligible enrolled cows had at least one BHBA test of 1.2 to 2.9 mmol/L. [corrected]. Of these, 372 were assigned to the treatment group and 369 to the control group. Based on hazard ratios, PG-treated cows were 1.50 times more likely (95% confidence interval=1.26 to 1.79) to resolve their SCK and 0.54 times less likely (95% confidence interval=0.34 to 0.86) to develop clinical ketosis than control cows. Across the 3 herds measuring individual milk weights, treated cows produced 0.23 kg more milk per milking in the first 30 d of lactation than control cows, for a total difference of 0.69 kg/cow per day. After identification of a treatment by herd interaction, stratification by herd showed that treated cows produced more milk per milking on farm A (0.44 kg) and farm B (0.53 kg) in the first 30 d of lactation than control cows, for a total difference of 1.34 and 1.59 kg/d, respectively; milk production did not differ (0.02 kg per milking) between the 2 groups on farm D. These results show the positive effects of oral PG administration in fresh cows with SCK by helping to resolve SCK and preventing clinical ketosis. In addition, oral PG improves milk yield during early lactation in cows diagnosed with SCK.