Metabolic disease testing on farms: epidemiological principles

01 Sep 2020

Mann, S., McArt, J., Abuelo, A.

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Background: Although many clinical metabolic diseases have been successfully controlled in modern dairy herds, subclinical metabolic diseases are often prevalent and associated with significant economic losses. Given the absence of easily identifiable clinical signs, their diagnosis often requires testing for metabolic markers in blood, urine, or milk. On-farm testing with point-of-care devices can facilitate the acceptance of a metabolic screening programme that is economically feasible and delivers a high quality of information. The goal of such a screening programme is to establish a baseline, set goals for an acceptable herd-level prevalence, and supervise the success or failure of any management changes required to attain these goals.

Aim of the article: The article discusses the practical aspects of metabolic disease testing with examples of results and their interpretation.