How to prevent negative energy balance in Cows

Negative Energy Balance In Dairy Cows

Ketosis is a consequence of negative energy balance.

Ketosis is a metabolic disease that occurs when the cow is in severe state of negative energy balance.
In early lactation, all cows are in a state of negative energy balance; however, the magnitude of this can vary.

Negative energy balance in dairy cows
Negative energy balance in dairy cows


Ketosis occurs in cattle when energy demands (e.g. high milk production) exceed energy intake and result in a negative energy balance.
Ketotic cows often have low blood glucose (blood sugar) concentrations.


- Reduced milk yield.
- Weight loss.
- Reduced appetite.
- Dull coat.
- Acetone (pear drop) smell of breath/ or milk.
- Fever.
- Some develop nervous signs including excess salivation, licking, aggression etc.


Treatment of ketosis is aimed at reestablishing normoglycemia and reducing serum ketone body concentrations. Bolus IV administration of 500 mL of 50% dextrose solution is a common therapy.


Some feed additives, including niacin, calcium propionate, sodium propionate, propylene glycol, and rumen-protected choline, may help prevent and manage ketosis.

To be effective, these supplements should be fed in the last 2–3 wk of gestation, as well as during the period of ketosis susceptibility.

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