The concept of blood analysis for herd-level interpretation, frequently referred to as metabolic profiling, in dairy herds appears to have taken hold about the time that automatic serum chemistry analyzers became available in the early 1970s. The hope was that large numbers of blood samples could be analyzed quickly and economically and that detailed information relative to metabolic and nutritional status of the cows could be practically available. The concept is appealing because metabolic disease remains a major health challenge in dairy herds. Interest in the technique, however, has waxed and waned over the years because of many questions about its diagnostic value relative to its cost. Nevertheless the concept remains popular with many veterinary clinicians because they see a need for additional diagnostic and metabolic monitoring techniques, beyond what are currently available……..

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