Subclinical ketosis (SCK) is defined as elevated concentrations of circulating ketone bodies in the absence of clinical signs. Measurement of blood β-hydroxy butyric acid (BHBA) concentration is considered as the gold standard method to detect SCK. The objective of this study was to determine the presence of SCK in cows in different physiologic status in Basra, Iraq. The cows were classified into 5 groups according to the physiologic group; G1: 2nd trimester pregnant cows (n =9), G2: 3rd trimester pregnant cows (n =8), G3 Fresh cows (1-30 days postpartum) (n=41), G4: Lactating cows (2 and 3 months postpartum) (n =21), and G5: 4 months – more postpartum cows (n =14) . Cholesterol, ALT activity and BHBA concentrations were determined. The cutoff point 1000 μmol L-1 -2600 μmol L-1 was used. The mean concentrations of the parameters of the cows of the five groups were; cholesterol: 3.7 ± 0.34, 3.21 ± 0.38, 2.59 ± 0.16, 3.15 ± 0.24 and 2.5 ± 0.28 mmol/L, ALT: 45.11 ± 6.16, 37.125 ± 3.98, 44.83 ± 3.36, 45.19 ± 4.57 and 41.29 ± 4.37 IU/L and BHBA: 2.014 ± 0.15, 2.086 ± 0.085, 1.94 ± 0.07, 1.89 ± 0.18 and 1.92 ± 0.075 mmol/L. The concentration of cholesterol was within the normal limits in the all groups but it showed descending trend from early pregnancy to parturition then elevated with advancement of lactation, while the activity of ALT showed highness in each group with different percent, whereas the concentration of BHBA was significantly high in the all groups. The present findings reveals that prevalence of subclinical ketosis in Basra is extremely high. To prevent the consequences of subclinical ketosis, feeding a good feed stuff with propylene glycol and implementing a good management with regular test for detecting SCK to reduce the economic losses caused by SCK.


Ketosis, BHBA, Cow