Effect of two treatment protocols for ketosis on the resolution, postpartum health, milk yield, and reproductive outcomes of dairy cows.Theriogenology. 2018 Jan 15; 106:53-59.T
We determined the effect of ketosis treatment with propylene glycol (PG) or PG plus l-carnitine and methionine (Metabolase®, Fatro, Bologna, Italy) on the resolution, postpartum health, milk yield, and reproductive performances of dairy cows. Blood from 475 Holstein cows was collected weekly until 4 weeks after calving to measure blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) concentrations. Cows with blood BHBA concentration ≥1.2 mmol/L were diagnosed with ketosis and were enrolled. One hundred and fifty cows diagnosed with ketosis were randomly assigned to three treatment groups (Day 0): (1) PG (300 g, PO) for 3 days (PG group, n = 50), (2) PG (300 g, PO) plus l-carnitine (1.25 g) plus methionine (5 g, IV) for 3 days (PG + CM group, n = 50), and (3) no treatment (control group, n = 50). On Day 3, blood was collected to evaluate whether the ketosis had resolved. Cows in the PG and PG + CM groups with blood BHBA ≥1.2 mmol/L were retreated for an additional 2 days, and then blood BHBA concentration was evaluated on Days 5 and 10. Blood glucose and haptoglobin concentrations, rumen fill score (RFS), and body condition score (BCS) were measured on Days 0, 3, 5, and 10. Postpartum complications, milk yield during the first 2 months, and reproductive outcomes were evaluated. The probability of resolution from ketosis was higher (P < 0.05) in the PG + CM group than in the control group on Days 3, 5, and 10 (odds ratio: 2.6-6.3). Blood BHBA in the PG + CM group was lower (P < 0.05) than that of the control group on Days 3 and 5, whereas blood glucose in the PG + CM group was higher (P < 0.05) than that of the control group on Days 3 and 5. RFS in the PG and PG + CM groups was higher than that of the control group on Day 10 (P < 0.01), while BCS loss from Day 0-10 in the control group was higher than those of the PG and PG + CM groups (P < 0.05). Milk yields on the 30th and 60th days postpartum were higher in the PG + CM group than the control and PG groups (P < 0.05). Postpartum complications and intervals between calving and first postpartum insemination or pregnancy did not differ among the groups (P > 0.05). In conclusion, treatment of dairy cows with PG plus l-carnitine and methionine improved the chances of resolution of ketosis and increased milk yield, while affecting neither the incidence of postpartum complications nor reproductive performance.