The primary objective of the present study was to test whether capillary blood obtained by puncturing the skin of an ear with a minimal invasive lancet technique is able to detect hyperketonemia (HYK) in dairy cows. Furthermore, test characteristics of a new available handheld device, the FreeStyle Precision Neo (FSP-Neo, Abbott GmbH & Co. KG, Wiesbaden, Germany) for determination of β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations in bovine blood were evaluated by comparing the measurements with a laboratory reference. The BHB concentration was determined with the FSP-Neo device in 720 capillary blood samples from 3 different sampling sites (left, right ear, and repeated measurement) and in 240 samples from a coccygeal vessel. The concentration of BHB in serum harvested from the coccygeal blood samples was analyzed at the laboratory and was used as reference. The Spearman correlation coefficient (ρs) between the BHB concentrations in capillary blood measured with the handheld device and the reference test was between 0.76 and 0.81. Using capillary blood, the mean ± standard deviation BHB difference compared with the reference test was 0.20±0.47 mmol/L for all 3 sampling locations at the ears. The receiver operating characteristic analyses for the FSP-Neo device resulted in an optimized threshold for the detection of subclinical ketosis (SCK) in capillary blood of 1.3 mmol/L (left and right ear) and 1.2 mmol/L (repeated measurements). Applying these adjusted threshold sensitivities (Se) for all 3 capillary sampling sites at the ear were 100%, and specificities (Sp) ranged between 93 and 94%. Hence, we conclude that all sampling locations were suitable to identify cows suffering from SCK. The reference test compared with BHB measurements in coccygeal blood resulted in a ρs of 0.92 with a mean ± standard deviation of 0.02±0.21 mmol/L. The receiver operating characteristic analyses for the FSP-Neo device resulted in an optimized threshold for the detection of SCK in coccygeal blood of 1.1 mmol/L, with a corresponding Se and Sp of 100 and 95%, respectively. Because capillary blood is easily achievable from an ear, particularly if animals are fixed in headlocks for routine checkups, this technique is considered as an additional minimally invasive method for the identification of dairy cows suffering from HYK.