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2007, Vol 2 No 2, Article 19


Plasma Glucose and Insulin Profiles in Ketotic Buffaloes


Shabir A. Teli 1 & S. L. Ali 2

Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Sciences,

 Anjora, Durg (CG), India

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

1 Department of Animal Husbandry, Kashmir

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

 Anjora, Durg (CG), India



A simultaneous decrease in the values of plasma glucose and insulin was observed in 24 ketotic buffaloes. The mean glucose level before treatment was estimated to 37.68 0.84 mg/dl, whereas insulin concentration estimated to a mean of 15.82 0.35 u/ ml. At clinical recovery elevated values to a mean of 59.00 1.31 mg/dl and 24.37 1.51 u/ ml respectively were estimated. Thus resulting in a corresponding improvement in the values of both parameters.


Ketosis, Glucose, Insulin, Buffaloes


In a heavy milking animal 60% to 80% of the blood glucose is utilized by the mammary glands in the production of milk (Annison and Linzell, 1963). Normally ruminants have low levels of blood glucose and even slight falls are enough to put the animal in a hypoglycemic state. If not relieved the animals metabolism shifts and further blood bio-chemical alterations including elevated ketone bodies, free fatty acids, tri-glycerides and cholesterol with decrease in calcium and insulin are seen (Singh and Kasaralikar, 1990 ; Sakai et al, 1996) and clinically the animal is presented as ketotic.

The present study evaluates plasma glucose and insulin levels before and after successful treatment of ketotic buffaloes.


The study was conducted on twenty four clinically ketotic buffaloes. The animals were randomly allotted to four treatment groups (Table 1).  Paired blood samples were aseptically collected by venipuncture, in vials containing heparin and sodium fluoride respectively and carried to laboratory on ice. Plasma was separated by centrifugation at 3000 rpm for 15 minutes and stored at -20 C till further testing.

Blood glucose (mg/dl) was estimated by GOD/POD (enzymatic) method (Tietz, 1976) whereas, plasma insulin (u/ ml) concentration was determined by ELISA as per Sacks (1994).
The biochemical changes were evaluated by analyzing the data using paired t test as per standard procedures out lined by Snedecor and Cochran (1989). 


The mean values of plasma glucose and insulin prior to treatment were 37.68 + 0.84 mg/dl and 15.82 + 0.35 u/ml. A corresponding and significant (p< 0.01) increase in the values of both the parameters was observed following the different treatment regimens. The means recorded at clinical recovery were 59.00 + 1.31 mg/dl and 24.37 + 1.51 u/ml. The intra assay coefficient of variation was estimated to be 8.53.

The present observations corroborate the findings of Hove (1974) who reported a corresponding decrease in plasma glucose and insulin in ketotic cows. Decrease in palsma glucose was earlier reported by Kronfeld (1980), Chugh et al (1992) in cows and Anantwar & Singh (1993), Ambore et al (2001) and Mandali et al (2002) in lactating buffaloes.  Hypoinsulinemia remains a constant feature in a ketotic animal (Kolb, 1977). The decrease in the insulin levels could be attributed to the diminished ability of  βcells of endocrine pancreas to synthesize and release insulin (Hove 1978 , Dokovic at al 1998).

During the present trial, administration of glucose in conjugation with insulin/dextran elevated blood glucose levels which might have in turn triggered the synthesis and further release of insulin from the pancreas.


  1. Ambore, B.N.; Rajguru, D.N.; Saleem, M. Prevalence, biochemistry and treatment of sub-clinical ketosis in buffaloes. Indian Veterinary Journal, 2001; 78: 1033.1036

  2. Anantwar, L.G.; Singh, B. Epidemilogy,clinico-pathology and treatment of clinical ketosis in buffaloes, India Veterinary Journal, 1993; 70:152-156.

  3. Annison, E.F.; Linzell, J.L. Oxidation of glucose and acetate by the mammary gland. Journal of physiology, 1963; 185:372-355.

  4. Bach, S.J.; Hibbitt, K.G.. Biochemical aspect of bovine ketosis. Biochemistry journal, 1959; 72:87-91

  5. Chugh, S.K,; Bhardwaj, R.M,; Malik, K.S. Nervous form of ketosis in cow. A case report. Indian Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 1992;12:60-61.

  6. Dokovic, R.; Samanc, H.; Jevetic, S.; Vitorovic, D.;Gutic, M.; Boskovic, B.S.; Petrovic, M.; Radenkovic, B. Changes in blood concentrations of insulin, glucose and inorganic phosphors in healthy and ketotic cows following i.v administration of glucose solution. Veterinary Glasnik, 1998;52:373-383 [ VETCD 1989-2001/11]

  7. Doxy, D.L. Metabolic disorders. In: Clinical pathology and Diagnostic procedures. 2nd Ed. Bailliere Tindall, London, 1983, PP 195-210.

  8. Hove, K. Nocturnal plasma insulin levels in cows with varying levels of plasma ketone bodies: relations to plasma sugar and acetoacetate. Acta Endocrinologica, 1974; 76:513-524.

  9. Hove, K. Insulin secretion in lactating cows, response to glucose infused intravenously in normal, ketonaemic and starved animals. Journal of Dairy Science. 1978;61:1407-1413.

  10. Kolb, E. Importance of insulin in production performance and metabolism of ruminants and its response during metabolic disorders (hypocaleemia, ketosis) and production diseases ( Milk-fat deficiency syndrome)- Review. Monatshefte Fur Veterinarmed zion, 1977; 32:190-195 [VETCD 1973-1988)

  11. Kronfeld, D.S. Ketosis in lactating dairy cows. In: Bovine Medicine and Surgery. 2nd Ed. Santa Barbara: American Veterinary Publications,1980, PP. 543-565

  12. Mandali, G.C.; Patel, P.R.; Dhami, A.J.; Raval S.K. Calving pattern and peri parturient disorders in buffaloes of Gujrat in relation to season and meteorological factors. Indian Journal of Veterinary Medicin, 2002; 22:15-20

  13. Radostitis, O.M.; Gay, C.C.; Blood, D.C.; Hinchchff, K.W. Veterinary Medicine 9th Ed. W.B. Saunders Company Ltd.London, 2000, PP 1452-1462.

  14. Sacks, B.D. Carbohydrates. In: Burtis, C.A.; Ashwood, A.R. (Eds) Tietz. Textbook of clinical chemistry. 2nd Ed. Philadelphia W.B. Saunders co. 1994.

  15. Sakai, T; Hamakawa,M.; Kubo,S. Glucose and xylitol tolerance tests for ketotic and healthy dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 1996;79: 373-377.

  16. Singh, B. and Kasaralikar, V.R. Biochemistry and treatment of clinical ketosis in buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis). India Veterinary Journal, 1990;67:163-165.

  17. Snedecor, G.W.; Cochran, W.G. Statiustical Methods.8th Ed. The LOWA State University nPress LOWA, USA. 1989.

  18. Tietz, N.W. In : Clinical Guide to Laboratory Tests. W.B. Saunders Company Ltd.London, 1976, PP 238.



Table 1

Design for therapeutic evaluation in bubaline ketosis


Therapeutic regimen 

Dose and route



Inj. Dextrose A 25%


Two pints (540mlx2) i/v

2-3 days


Inj. Dextrose B 25% +

 Inj. Insulin C

Two pints (540mlx2) i/v

200 iu s/c

1-2 days


Inj. Xylitol C 25% +

Inj. Dextrose A 25%

540 ml i/v

540 ml i/v

1-2 days


Liquid Glucose D  + 

Sodium bicarbonate

500g Orally

30 g Orally

2-3 Days

A Wocktrose : Wockhard Ltd. Mumbai, India
B Lentard : Knoll Pharmaceuticals Ltd.m, Mumbai, India
C Xylitol : S.D. Fine-chem Ltd. Mumbai India
D Liquid Glucose : Raja Ram Maize Products, Ranjnandgaon (CG)


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