David Kelton

David Kelton

Dairy Farmers of Ontario Research Chair in Dairy Cattle Health | Professor Emeritus/Emerita (University)

 Office: Stewart Bldg. 2537
 519-824-4120 Ext. 54808



Dr. Kelton is a veterinary epidemiologist and the Dairy Farmers of Ontario Dairy Cattle Health Research Chair in the Department of Population Medicine. He is a founding member of Dairy at Guelph, is a member of Scientific Committee of the Canadian Mastitis Network and Board Member of IDF (International Dairy Federation) Canada.  He is the Canadian Representative to, and Chair of, the IDF Standing Committee on Animal Health and Welfare and chairs the Paratuberculosis Working Group. He teaches in the undergraduate, graduate and professional curriculum and is a member of several local, provincial and national working groups dealing with dairy cattle health and animal disease surveillance. His research interests include infectious and metabolic diseases of dairy cattle, including particular interest in Johne’s Disease, bovine mastitis and bovine lameness.

Research Interests

My research interests include infectious and metabolic diseases of dairy cattle, including particular interest in Johne’s Disease, bovine mastitis and bovine lameness. Over the last 25 years I have worked closely with dairy producers, dairy producer organizations and veterinary practitioners in developing field-based research projects that address practical issues of concern to the Canadian dairy industry. I am particularly proud of my long-standing research partnership with Dairy Farmers of Ontario and Lactanet and work that we have done to validate and implement milk based tests for Canadian dairy farmers.

Current Graduate Students

  • Hannah Woodhouse - PhD
  • Katherine Perry - PhD


I teach in the DVM and graduate programs at the University of Guelph.  My DVM program teaching focuses on aspects of evidence-based veterinary medicine, infectious disease control and dairy health management.

Professional Experience & Honours

  • Pfizer Faculty Award for Research Excellence 2008
  • American Dairy Science Association West Agro, Inc. Award 2004
  • Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Schering Award 2000 
  • Bull Travel Fellowship, 2011
  • American Association of Bovine Practitioners Award of Excellence, 2017
  • Journal of Dairy Science 100 Club, 2019
  • Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, 2021

Service to Society

Dairy at Guelph - Interim Director

International Dairy Federation Standing Committee on Animal Health and Welfare - Chair

Canadian Bovine Mastitis Network - Scientific Committee

Ontario Livestock and Poultry Council - University of Guelph Representative

Dairy Farmers of Ontario - Research and Development Committee

Selected Publications

Hogeveen H, Klaas I, Dalen G, Honig H, Zecconi A, Kelton D, Sánchez Mainar, M. Novel ways to use sensor data to improve mastitis management. J Dairy Sci July 2021 104:11317-11332.

Van Schyndel S, Dubuc J, Bogado Pascottini O, Carrier J, Kelton D, Duffield T, LeBlanc S. The effect of pegbovigrastim on early lactation disease, production, and reproduction in dairy cows. J Dairy Sci Sept 2021 104:10100-10110.

McMullen C, Sargeant J, Kelton D, Churchill K, Cousins K, Winder C. Modifiable management practices to improve udder heath during the dry period and subsequent lactation: a scoping review. J Dairy Sci Sept 2021 104:10143-10157.

Ritter C, Dorrestein L, Kelton DF, Barkema HW.  Herd health and production management visits on Canadian dairy cattle farms: structure, goals and topics discussed. J Dairy Sci July 2021 104:7996-8008.

Chen H, Weersink A, Kelton D, Von Massow M. Milk loss based on somatic cell count at the cow and herd level. J Dairy Sci June 2021 104:7919-7931.

DeGroot A, Coe JB, Kelton D, Miltenburg C, Wichtel J, Duffield T. Comparison of food-animal veterinarians’ and producers’ perceptions of producer-centered communication following on-farm interactions. Vet Rec April 2021 EPUB

DeGroot A, Coe JB, Kelton D, Miltenburg C, Wichtel J, Duffield T. Factors associated with food-animal producer visit-specific satisfaction following on-farm interaction with a veterinarian. Vet Rec Jan 2021 EPUB

Karuppusamy S, Mutharia LM, Kelton D, Plattner BL, Mallikarjunappa S, Karrow N, Kirby G. Detection of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) microorganisms using antigenic MAP cell envelope proteins. Front Vet Sci Feb 2021 8:615029; EPUB

Robles I, Zambelis A, Kelton DF, Barkema HW, Keefe GP, Roy JP, von Keyserlingk MAG, DeVries TJ. Associations of freestall design and cleanliness with cow lying behavior, hygiene, lameness, and risk of high somatic cell count. J Dairy Sci Jan 2021 104:2231-2224.

Abdelmegid S, Kelton D, Caswell J, Kirby G. Proteomic 2D-DIGE analysis of milk whey from dairy cows with Staphylococcus aureus mastitis reveals overexpression of host defense proteins. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 1883; EPUB doi:10.3390/microorganisms8121883

Goetz H, Kelton D, Costa J, Winder C, Renaud D. Identification of biomarkers measured upon arrival associated with morbidity, mortality and average daily gain in grain-fed veal calves. J Dairy Sci Jan 2021 104:874-885.

Schuster J, Barkema H, DeVries A, Kelton D, Orsel K.  Academic and applied approach to evaluate longevity in dairy cows. J Dairy Sci Dec 2020 103:11008-11024.

Roche SMRenaud DL, Genore R, Bauman C, Croyle S, Dubuc J, Barkema HW, Keefe GP, Kelton DF. Communication preferences and social media engagement among Canadian dairy producers. J Dairy Sci Dec 2020 103:12128-12139.

Search PubMed for additional publications by Dr. Kelton.