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KETOSIS in dairy cows

Ketosis in dairy cows occurs regularly in the first weeks after calving. 

When a cow’s energy requirements exceed its energy intake, the risk for ketosis increases. Ketosis can cause:

  • less appetite;
  • lower milk production;
  • weight loss;
  • bad breath;
  • low energy;
  • poor condition of the hair coat;
  • reduced fertility.

One of the most important measures is to ensure that cows take in enough energy with the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats from the first day of lactation.

In this article:


Ketosis occurs when the cow cannot get enough energy from her ration to meet the body’s needs. This often happens after calving, when the cow needs extra energy to produce milk and recover from calving. 

If the cow does not get enough nutrients, body fats are mobilized to compensate for the energy deficiency. The cow’s body condition score decreases, resulting in a negative energy balance.

This process leads to the formation of ketones, which are then absorbed into the cow’s blood. In large quantities, ketones are toxic to the cow. A balanced dairy cattle ration is essential to reduce the risk of ketosis.


The cost of ketosis varies per dairy farm. Dutch research from 2020 states that the costs for clinical and subclinical ketosis are as follows: 

  • €3,613 for an average dairy farm;
  • €7,371 for a high-risk dairy farm;
  • €709 per cow per case of clinical ketosis; 
  • €150 per cow per case for subclinical ketosis. 

Lower milk yields, (vet) treatments, and loss of fertility are the main costs in clinical and subclinical cases.

A scientific summary in Veterinary Science states that almost 23% of cows worldwide have subclinical ketosis, and nearly 28% if they are indoors all year. So, it happens to every dairy farmer.


There are several ways to prevent ketosis in dairy cows:

1. In case of clinical ketosis, consult a vet immediately.

2. It is also essential to check the condition of your cows regularly. Heavy cows are more prone to ketosis, while skinny cows do not have enough reserves to sustain lactation.

3. During the transition and early lactation, silage and dry matter intake are lower. In the early lactation period, you may feed cows more concentrate to meet the high protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals requirements. This increases the ratio of concentrate to silage and increases the risk of rumen acidosis. Ensure an optimal balance.

The rumen is the engine in the cow. So get the best lubricant…


More than 70% of a cow’s energy is supplied from the rumen via fatty acids. pHom Norway is like a lubricant for the engine. It reduces friction and prevents the engine from clogging up.

pHom Norway is based on plant-based and arctic minerals, sustainably harvested from Norwegian waters. The product provides long-term balance in the rumen. At the same time, the minerals are absorbed through the rumen wall.

That’s the Energy of Mother Nature!

The result with 3 to 3.5 oz of pHom Norway from the first day of lactation:

  • supports the fermentation of energy and fiber;
  • long-term and stable rumen pH;
  • reduces the risk of rumen acidosis;
  • for a healthy body condition score.

100% Norwegian, 100% natural

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More Energy from your silage!

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More Energy from your silage!