BoviLab Mark van Kleef bloodanalysis

BoviLab emphasizes diverse blood parameters

BoviLab serves as a monitoring device for the transition period. With that, the focus is not only on calcium and fatty acids (NEFA’s) but also on other parameters you measure in the blood.

Bovine veterinarian Mark van Kleef has introduced the Japan-based BoviLab to the Netherlands. He frequently analyses blood during his farm visits. During two recent visits, Van Kleef came across abnormal magnesium levels in fresh and dry cows.

Magnesium has an important role in the calcium metabolism in dairy cows. With an adequate magnesium intake in the dry period, cows can mobilize calcium around calving. They manages this using the parathormone (PTH). This hormone is produced in the parathyroid glands and has an important role in keeping blood calcium levels constant.

At the first farm where van Kleef took a few blood samples, the magnesium levels are within the normal range but were fluctuating. Fluctuating magnesium levels are not very common. The reason may be due to a fluctuating dry matter intake or in the mixing process. After adding minerals to the mixture, it is important to mix well until all the components are evenly distributed and every bite the cow takes is the same. This farmer was advised to check and monitor the mixing process.

On the second farm, the magnesium levels of all close-up cows (three weeks before calving) were too low. These cows face a substantial risk of hypocalcemia, also known as subclinical milk fever, after calving. This dairy farmer was advised to feed more magnesium in the dry period.

For both dairy farms, you might not have easily detected a magnesium deficiency if you hadn’t conducted a blood test. Based on the blood analyses of a few cows, the veterinarian is able to immediately give advice. It shows that BoviLab gives a practical possibility to draw conclusions about the transition period.

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