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Study reveals high ketosis risk

Three quarters of dairy herds under threat, says research

A paper presented at the International Conference on Production Diseases in Farm Animals has suggested that three in four commercial dairy herds are at risk of ketosis.

Using data collected from 4,709 transition cows, across 130 dairy farms in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, it was revealed that 39 per cent had ketosis.

It was also revealed that more than 75 per cent of the commercial dairy herds tested were likely to be at high risk of developing diseases during the calving period as a result.

Authors Geert Vertenten, of Elanco Animal Health, and Anna Berge, of the epidemiology unit at Ghent University in Belgium, used two sets of data, taken from between July 2011 and September 2012, to compile their evidence.

For their research, they monitored ketosis levels in cows seven to 21 days after calving, and found that there are some key indicators vets can look for when assessing if ketosis is causing a problem within a herd.

According to the research, indicators include if there is a five per cent or more annual incidence of displaced abomasums and if there are more than 10 per cent of cows at a body condition score of four or above, three weeks prior to calving.

If more than 40 per cent of the cows have higher than a 1.5 to one ratio of fat to protein at the first milk recording after calving, it is another indicator that ketosis is causing an issue within a herd.

"The audit data supports the observation that subclinical ketosis is indeed a hidden disease," said Vertenten. "It is important that vets can identify where there are opportunities to make positive interventions that will improve the health and welfare of the herd."

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Applications open for pets in housing research funding scheme

News Story 1
 The Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) has announced that applications are now open for the second round of its three-year funding scheme to support research into the human-animal bond.

This year SCAS is looking for research that focuses on the issues surrounding pets in housing, particularly projects looking at:

- the impact of current, or historic, pet related housing legislation
- an assessment of incident, type and cost of damage caused by pets in housing
- the views of landlords, care institution or housing association staff, in relation to pets and housing
- stakeholder perceptions of pets and housing insurance schemes.

There are eight funding grants available, awarding between £1,500 and £10,000. Applications close on 30 April 2021.

More information can be found on the SCAS website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
2021 NOAH Compendium now available

The 2021 edition of the NOAH Compendium of Data Sheets for Animal Medicines has been published.

Published annually by NOAH, this book is sent to every veterinary practice in the UK for free. The 2021 edition includes an even larger range of products than previous years.

Chief executive Dawn Howard stated that NOAH will shortly be launching a survey for practices on the Compendiums effectiveness.

She added: "Our survey will give users of the Compendium the opportunity to say how they think we can improve it to assist them in prescribing veterinary medicines and advising animal keepers on their use. We look forward to getting your views."