Metabolic disorders, especially hyperketonemia, are very common in dairy sheep. The whole-blood concentrations of β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) and glucose can be determined by commercially available electronic hand-held devices, which are used in human medicine and for the detection of ketosis in dairy cows. The aim of this study was to evaluate the suitability of the hand-held device Precision Xceed (PX; Abbott Diabetes Care Inc., Abbott Park, IL) to detect hyperketonemia in ewes. An additional objective of this study was to evaluate the agreement between samples obtained by minimal invasive venipuncture of an ear vein and measurements of whole-blood samples from the jugular vein (vena jugularis, v. jug.). Blood samples taken from the v. jug. were collected from 358 ewes on 4 different farms. These samples and a blood drop obtained from an ear vein were analyzed simultaneously on farm with the PX. For method comparison, the samples obtained from the v. jug. were also analyzed by standard methods, which served as the gold standard at the Central Laboratory of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria. The correlation coefficients between the serum BHBA concentration and the concentrations measured with the hand-held meter in the whole blood from an ear vein and the v. jug. were 0.94 and 0.96, respectively. The correlation coefficients of plasma and whole-blood glucose concentration were 0.68 for the v. jug. and 0.47 for the ear vein. The mean glucose concentration was significantly lower in animals classified as hyperketonemic (BHBA ≥ 1.6 mmol/L) compared with healthy ewes. Whole-blood concentrations of BHBA and glucose measured with the PX from v. jug. showed a constant negative bias of 0.15 mmol/L and 8.4 mg/dL, respectively. Hence, a receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed to determine thresholds for the PX to detect hyperketonemia in ewes. This resulted in thresholds for moderate ketosis of BHBA concentrations of 0.7 mmol/L in blood from an ear vein and the v. jug. Cutoffs of 1.0 mmol/L (ear vein) and 1.1 mmol/L (v. jug.) BHBA were determined to detect animals at greater risk to develop severe hyperketonemia. Applying these thresholds, excellent test characteristics, with sensitivities of 1.00 for both samples and specificities of 0.98 for the ear vein and 0.97 for the v. jug. were determined. These results demonstrate that the PX is a useful tool for detection of hyperketonemia in ewes.
3-Hydroxybutyric Acid/blood* Animals Austria Blood Chemical Analysis/methods* Blood Chemical Analysis/veterinary Blood Glucose/metabolism* Blood Specimen Collection/methods Female Ketosis/blood* Ketosis/diagnosis* Ketosis/veterinary* ROC Curve Sensitivity and Specificity Sheep Sheep Diseases/blood Sheep Diseases/diagnosis