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2007, Vol 2 No 1, Article 14


Economic Implications of Bubaline Ketosis A Clinical Study


 of Effects on Milk Yield


Shabir A. Teli1 & S. L. Ali2

Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Sciences,

 Anjora, Durg (CG), India

(Part of MVSc research work, Thesis submitted to IGKVV, Raipur)

1Department of Animal Husbandry, Kashmir

2Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Sciences,

 Anjora, Durg (CG), India



Study outlines the effect of ketosis in 120 buffaloes. Seventy nine (65.83%) of 120 ketotic buffaloes showed 20-30 percent drop in milk yield, whereas 40-50 per cent drop in production was exhibited by 20 (16.66%) buffaloes. The average drop in daily milk yield was recorded to be 3.52 + 0.16 liters (36.70%) and the recovery after treatment could restore only 25.30 per cent (1.73 + 0.15 liters) milk per day.


Bovine ketosis is of substantial economic significance and has been found to be responsible for decline in milk production even two weeks before its clinical form, (Lucey et al, 1986).Major economic losses have been attributed to the loss of milk yield and failure of the animals to return to the fullest production potential even after recovery in clear cut cases of ketosis (Waage, 1989; Lean et al, 1994).
The present study puts on record the drop in milk production on the onset of disease and the regain in its productivity after recovery.


One hundred twenty clinically ketotic buffaloes from various localities of Chattisgarh, were included in the study for assessing the drop in milk yield. Twenty four of them were followed beyond recovery to assess resumption of yield.


Seventy nine (65.83%), twenty one (17.50%) and twenty (16.66) buffaloes suffering from clinical ketosis showed 20-30%, 30-40% and 40-50% drop in milk yield respectively (Table 1).

Table 1

Effects of clinical ketosis on milk yield of buffalo


 Drop in milk yield

( % )





20 30

 21   17.50

30 40

 20  16.66

40 50

120 100 Total

A drop of 3.52 + 0.16 liters milk/animal/day (36.70%) was thus noticed (Table 2). Average daily milk yield recorded before illness in healthy buffaloes was 9.59 + 0.88 liters, that dropped to 6.07 + 0.91 liters per day in ketotic buffaloes. Decline of 2260 percent in milk production in bovine clinical ketosis has also been placed on record by Dohoo et al, ( 1984), Swan and Tripathy (1987) and Mir and Malik (2003).

Table 2

Lactation kinetics during bubaline ketosis

 Milk yield per buffalo


 Mean + S.E.  (S.D.)

N = 120*

Before ketosis

 9.59 + 0.88 (2.15)


During ketosis

 6.07 + 0.91 (2.24)



3.52 + 0.16 (0.40)


Percent drop



Regain after treatment

1.73 + 0.15 (0.72)


Percent regain at clinical recovery


*120 animals divided into six lactational phases


The fall in milk yield varied in degree at various stages of lactation. The decline ranged from 25.31 percent in 0 to 1 month of lactation to 49.77 percent at 56 month postpartum with an increasing trend (Table 2). Contrary to the present findings, Andersson (1988) demonstrated that the losses were marked in early as compared to late lactation stages in cows. Complete restoration of milk yield could not be achieved in present study also. An average of 1.73 + 0.15 liters milk/animal/ day (25.30%) (Table 3) was regained in animals after recovery with various therapeutic regimens. Huge economic losses, because of drop in milk yield and failure of animal to return to full production potential have been recorded (Waage, 1989). In ketosis the capacity of the animal to supply the lactogenic precursors to mammary gland is reduced than the capacity of the gland to produce due to homeorhetic drive for production (Lean et al, 1992). Moreover, elevated blood ketones also result in decreased milk production (Andersson and Lundstrom, 1985). According to Radostitis et al, (2006) the decline in milk production in ketosis was not proportionate to reduction in energy status at early stages of lactation because of excessive hormonal stimuli.

Table 3

Lactation stage wise drop in milk yield in clinically ketotic buffaloes

Stage of




Average Milk yield per Animal (L/day)


Daily loss/Animal (L/Day)

Decrease in milk yield (%)

Before illness

During illness

0 1





1 2





2 3





3 4





4 5





5 6





Mean + S. E.

9.59 + 0.88

6.07 + 0.91

3.52 + 0.16




  1. Andersson, L (1988). Sub clinical ketosis in dairy cows. Veterinary clinics of North America, Food Animal practice, 4: 233 251

  2. Andersson, L; Lundstrom, K (1985). Effects of feeding silage with high butyrie acid content on ketone body formation and milk yield in post parturient dairy cows. Zentralblatt fur Veterinar medizin A, 32: 15 23

  3. Dohoo, IR; Martin, SW; McMillan, I; Kennedy, BW (1984). Disease, production and culling in Holstein Friesian cows II. Age, season and sire effects. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 2: 665 670

  4. Lean, IJ; Bruss RL; Baldwin, RL; Troutt, HF (1992). Bovine ketosis: A review II. Biochemistry and prevention. Veterinary Bulletin, 62: 1 14

  5. Lean, IJ; Bruss, ML; Troutt, HF;Galland, JC; Farver, TB; Rostami, J; Holmberg, CA; Weaver, LD (1994). Bovine Ketosis and somatotrophin: risk factors for ketosis and effects of ketosis on health and production. Research Veterinary science, 57: 200 209

  6. Lucey, S; Rowlands, GJ Russell, AM (1986). Short term association between diseases and milk yield in dairy cows.Journal of Dairy Research, 53: 7 15

  7. Mir, AQ and Malik, HU (2003). Utility of clinical symptomatology in diagnosis of bovine ketosis under field conditions. Abstract in: National symposium and XXI ISVM convention, Anand, Gujarat

  8. Radostits, OM; Gay, CC; Blood, DC; Hinchcliff, KW (2000). Veterinary Medicine. 9th Edn. W. B. Saunders Company Ltd. London, pp 1452 1462

  9. Swain, PK; Tripathy, SB (1987). Management of ketosis in crossbred cows. Indian journal of Veterinary Medicine, 7: 121

  10. Waage, S (1989). Economic losses due to widespread diseases in cattle. Norsk Veterinaertidsskrft. 101: 91 100 [VETCD 1989 99/8]

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