The first few weeks following calving are a metabolically challenging time for dairy cows, particularly those in their second or greater lactation, because they cannot consume enough feed to meet the energy demands of early lactation. It has been reported that typically, multiparous cows remain in negative energy balance for at least 100 days after calving.1 Acetonemia (ketosis), a complication of negative energy balance, is detrimental to cow health and milk production.2,3 Ketosis is common in postpartum dairy cows. By use of a case definition of serum BHBA concentration > 1,400 mmol/L (14.6 mg/dL), a recent study4 estimated an incidence rate of 12% for subclinical ketosis among postpartum cows in their first lactation; another study5 reported that 190 of 1,162 cows (16%)tested in the first 8 days of lactaion had ketosis. Serum concentrations of the ketone body BHBA are commonly used to diagnose ketosis in dairy cows, wheras NEFA concentrations are a marker of fat mobilization in states of negative energy balance.6
One recommended treatment for ketosis is IV administration of 50% dextrose solution.7,8 Intravenous administration of osmotic diuretics, such as 50% dextrose solution, to humans increases urinary excretion of electrolytes including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphate.9 Severe decreases in the blood concentrations of these electrolytes can cause recumbency in dairy cows.10 Consequently, it is critical to determine whether IV administration of dextrose puts cows at increased risk for electrolyte imbalances, which may themselves cause decreased milk production and contribute to the development of other illnesses.11–13
In a research setting, analysis of electrolyte concentrations in blood, plasma, or serum is commonly performed on samples obtained by use of jugular venipuncture or placement of an IV catheter in a jugular vein, whereas in clinical practice, the coccygeal vessels (usually the coccygeal vein but possibly the coccygeal artery) are commonly used to collect blood samples for diagnostic purposes. Whether the site of blood collection influences electrolyte values is unknown.
The objectives of the study reported here were to determine the effect of IV administration of a bolus of 50% dextrose solution on electrolyte and energy balance in postparturient dairy cows and to determine the effect of blood collection site on serum electrolyte values.
Nonesterified fatty acid
One Touch Sure Step Blood Monitoring System, LifeScan Inc, Milpitas, Calif.
IDEXX VetTrol Control, IDEXX Laboratories, Westbrook, Me.
IDEXX VetLyte and VetTest Analyzers, IDEXX Laboratories, Westbrook, Me.
SAS Institute Inc, Cary, NC.
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