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Objective

To compare relative efficacy of dexamethasone and flumethasone alone or in combination with rapid IV infusion of glucose for treatment of ketosis in cattle.

Design

Clinical trial.

Animals

127 cows with urine acetoacetate concentration ≥ 60 mg/dl.

Procedure

Cows were treated with 500 ml of 50% glucose solution, IV, and 40 mg of dexamethasone, IM (group 1), 40 mg of dexamethasone, IM (group 2), 5 mg of flumethasone (group 3), or 500 ml of 50% glucose solution, IV, and 5 mg of flumethasone (group 4). Treatment success was defined as recovery after a single treatment without relapse during the same lactation. Uterine disease (retained placenta or metritis), parity, and pretreatment plasma glucose, serum β-hydroxybutyric acid, and urine acetoacetate concentrations were evaluated as possible confounding factors affecting recovery.

Results

Only uterine disease was found to have a significant effect on recovery. Treatments 1 and 4 were significantly more efficacious than was treatment 2, but efficacy of treatment 2 was not significantly different from that of treatment 3. Regardless of treatment, cows with uterine disease were less likely to have a successful outcome than were cows without uterine disease. In all treatment groups, plasma glucose concentration increased and serum β-hydroxybutyric acid and urine acetoacetate concentrations decreased following treatment.

Clinical Implications

In this study, treatment of ketosis in dairy cattle with a corticosteriod alone was less efficacious than treatment with glucose and a corticosteroid. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:1702-1704)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association