Skip to main content


This page contains information on KetoTest for veterinary use.
The information provided typically includes the following:
  • KetoTest Indications
  • Warnings and cautions for KetoTest
  • Direction and dosage information for KetoTest


This treatment applies to the following species:
Company: Elanco US

- for testing milk ketones (Beta-hydroxybutyric acid)

Each Pack Contains 20 or 50 test strips


Reason for use:

Ketosis occurs in dairy cows as a consequence of the negative energy balance in the early postpartum period, and can result in lowered milk production, impaired fertility, and increased risk of periparturient diseases, such as displaced abomasum. Subclinical ketosis usually precedes clinical ketosis, and is much more common. Estimates suggest a median herd incidence of 40% with a range of 8 to 65%. Subclinical ketosis causes greater economic losses on a herd basis than clinical ketosis. Subclinical ketosis can be diagnosed by measuring ketone bodies present in blood, urine, or milk. The Ketotest (Ketolac test strip) is a convenient, very effective method of detecting cows with subclinical ketosis.1,2

Test Principle

Beta-hydroxybutyric acid in the milk passes through the reagent part of the test strip and is converted by beta-hydroxybutyric acid dehydrogenase (BHBDH) to acetoacetic acid (AcAc). The NADH produced from NAD in the process reduces nitrotetrazolium blue (NTB) to formazan, which is purple in colour. The concentration of beta-hydroxybutyric acid in the milk can then be estimated from the change in colour.

Directions For Use

1. Remove test strip container from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Immediately close the container again firmly.

2. Dip a single test strip for 3 seconds into a small quantity of fresh milk (in a clean container). If the milk sample has been standing for some time it must be thoroughly shaken before carrying out the test. It, too, should be at room temperature.

3. Shake twice vigorously to remove excess milk.

4. After 1 minute read test strip color and compare to colour chart on bottle label (if colour reaction varies at the margin, base the reading on the central colour).


Milk BABA concentration

Ketotest™ Assessment

0-99 µmol/l

Normal (-)

100-199 µmol/l

Weak positive (+/-)

200-499 µmol/l

Positive (+)

500+ µmol/l

Highly positive (++)

This milk test strip system semi quantitatively measures Beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA), which is a key ketone body present in milk. The concentration of BHBA present in the milk can be estimated by the strength of the colour change reaction.

The more purple the result, the higher the concentration of ketones present in the milk and the greater the likelihood of ketosis. BHBA levels > 200 μmol/l of milk were 4 times more likely to come from cows with subclinical ketosis. This Ketotest was found to be the best cowside method for measuring BHBA.1,2


● This test is designed for measuring ketones present in milk. If other fluids are measured, then test result interpretations may be different.

● If milk cannot be tested immediately following collection, store in a refrigerator and bring to room temperature before testing.

● If the sample being tested is colostrum, the reading of the colour reaction is more difficult because of the milk’s intrinsic colour.

Storage and handling:

● Store at 2 - 8°C (36 - 46°F).

● The product shelf life is 1.5 years from date of manufacture if test strips are stored between 2 and 8°C (36 - 46°F).

● Continuous exposure of the product to temperatures approximately 25°C (77°F) results in a shelf life of only 14 days. Keep tubes of strips cool until use.

● Avoid using test strips that have discoloured after extended storage.

● Keep the test strip container tightly closed.

● Do not expose test strips to direct sunlight.

● Do not touch the test strip reagent area.

1 Geishauser T, Leslie K, Tenhag J and Bashiri. Evaluation of Eight Cow-side Ketone Tests in Milk for Detection of Subclinical Ketosis in Dairy Cows. 2000. J. Dairy Sci. 83:296-299.

2 Geishauser T, Leslie K, Kelton, D and Duffield, T. Evaluation of Five Cow-side Tests for Use with Milk to Detect Subclinical Ketosis in Dairy Cows. 1998. J. Dairy Sci. 81:438-443.

Distributed by Elanco US Inc

Manufacturer: SANWA KAGAKU, KENKYUSHO CO. LTD, Nagoya, Japan

For additional product information call 1 800 428 4441

KetoTest, Elanco and the diagonal bar logo are trademarks of Elanco or its affiliates.


CPN: 1131063.1

Customer Service:   317-276-1262
Technical Service:   800-428-4441
THIS SERVICE AND DATA ARE PROVIDED "AS IS". DVMetrics assumes no liability, and each user assumes full risk, responsibility, and liability, related to its use of the DVMetrics service and data. See the Terms of Use for further details.

Copyright © 2023 Animalytix LLC. Updated: 2023-05-30