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Summary

Intrareticularly placed sustained-release selenium boluses were administered to 1 group of selenium-deficient heifer calves (n = 16), and a second group (n = 16) was left as nontreated controls. Age range for all calves was 83 to 156 days. These boluses release 3 mg of selenium each day, as sodium selenite. Measurements of blood selenium concentration, plasma copper concentration, hepatic copper concentration, and body weight were made over a 188-day study. The treated group of calves had significantly higher mean blood selenium concentration at posttreatment days 68 (P < 0.0001), 112 (P < 0.0001), and 188 (P < 0.005) than did the control group. Mean blood selenium concentration in the treated calves was > 0.10 μg/ml for 188 days. These boluses were observed to be clinically safe; signs of selenium toxicosis were not detected and untoward effects were not seen in the selenium-treated calves. There were no differences between control and treatment groups with respect to mean hepatic copper concentration or mean plasma copper concentration. There were no observed differences between the control and treatment groups with respect to weight gain during the study.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary:

A field trial was conducted to measure differences in performance between selenium-supplemented and nonsupplemented heifers on a 1,200-cow California dairy. One hundred seventeen 19- to 27-month-old Holstein heifers were randomly assigned to treatment (n = 59) and control (n = 58) groups. A federally approved, commercially available, sustained-release intraruminal selenium bolus was administered to each heifer in the treatment group. Blood samples were taken from treated and control animals to assess selenium values before and after bolus administration and again after introduction to the milking ration. Production data were obtained from an on-farm computerized record system for each heifer during her first lactation.

Mean blood selenium concentrations in treated heifers were higher than those in control heifers from posttreatment day 30 until after calving. Data analyzed in midlactation and late lactation indicated no significant differences between treated and control groups in somatic cell count, days not pregnant, total milk produced, or times bred.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective—

To determine whether treating cows with antimicrobials at the end of lactation would lower the incidence of clinical mastitis, improve milk production, and decrease somatic cell count (SCC) in the subsequent lactation.

Design—

Randomized blind field trial.

Animals—

233 Holstein cows from a single herd. All cows were in lactation 2 or greater.

Procedure—

Cows were randomly assigned to treatment groups. Treated cows were given procaine penicillin G and novobiocin by intramammary infusion. Control cows were not treated. Farm personnel recorded cases of clinical mastitis. Milk yield and SCC were recorded during the subsequent lactation.

Results—

Treatment did not significantly reduce the incidence of clinical mastitis when data for all cows were grouped or when data were stratified by lactation groups (lactation 2 vs lactation ≥ 3) or by last SCC (≤ 500,000 cells/ml vs > 500,000 cells/ml). Somatic cell counts (first, mean of first 5, maximum of first 5) for treated and control cows were similar, and proportions of treated and control cows with SCC > 500,000 cells/ml at least once were not significantly different. Treated cows produced 179 kg (394 lb) more milk during the first 17 weeks of lactation than did control cows.

Clinical Implications—

Treating cows with antimicrobials at the end of lactation increased 17-week milk production during the subsequent lactation and, at current milk prices, was financially preferable to not treating them. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:207–211)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objectives

To measure blood selenium concentration and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity and serum concentrations of vitamin A and α-tocopherol, and to determine the correlation between blood selenium concentration and GSH-Px activity of llamas fed alfalfa hay.

Design

Mean (± SD) serum vitamin A and α-tocopherol concentrations, blood selenium concentrations, and GSH-Px activity were calculated from 9 sequential blood samples collected from llamas fed a diet of alfalfa hay.

Animals

15 clinically normal llamas (8 males, 7 females) between 10 and 14 months of age.

Procedure

Llamas were fed alfalfa hay for 40 days prior to sample collection and then for the duration of the trial. Vitamin E, selenium, and concentrations of vitamin A precursors were measured in the hay. Blood samples were collected on days 0, 6, 7, 9, 13, 20, 42, 64, and 98. Blood selenium concentrations were measured, using an inductively coupled spectrometric method. Blood GSH-Px activity was measured with a spectrophotometer, using a modification of a previously described assay. Isocratic high-performance liquid chromatography with florescent detection was used to determine serum α-tocopherol and vitamin A concentrations.

Results

The alfalfa hay contained 0.2 mg/kg of selenium, 5 mg/kg of vitamin E, and 0.9 mg/kg of vitamin A precursors. The mean (± SD) blood selenium concentration and GSH-Px activity were 0.179 ± 0.032 pg/ml and 25.76 ± 6.53 mU NADPH oxidized/min/mg of Hb, respectively, with a correlation coefficient of 0.97. The mean (± SD) concentrations for serum α-tocopherol and vitamin A were 128.1 ± 41.7 and 74.8 ± 5.5 μg/dl, respectively.

Conclusions

Blood selenium concentrations in llamas are highly correlated to GSH-Px activity. Blood selenium concentrations in llamas appear to be similar to other domestic ruminants and diets containing 0.2 mg/kg of selenium appear to provide an adequate dietary source. The concentrations of vitamin A precursors and vitamin E in the hay were below currently recommended dietary levels for llamas, and alfalfa hay appears to provide an unreliable source of vitamins A and E in this species. Further studies are required to determine optimal dietary concentrations and to substantiate a reference range for these vitamins in llamas. (Am J Vet Res 1996; 57:689–692)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Objective

Validate, by sensitivity and specificity analyses, use of somatic cell count (SCC) to predict bacteriologically positive subclinical mastitis in a California dairy herd with low SCC.

Design

Study of monthly dairy herd improvement SCC obtained from the immediate preceding lactation and individual cow composite milk sample microbiologic isolates collected at calving.

Animals

515 California dairy cows with SCC and culture data.

Procedure

Somatic cell count sensitivity and specificity analyses with combinations of SCC parameter and at various thresholds were done, using the bacterial isolates as the standard.

Results

Combination of SCC threshold and SCC parameters could not be developed that had sufficient sensitivity and specificity to be a useful predictor of cows that would calve with subclinical mastitis.

Clinical Implication

Under the conditions at this particular dairy, SCC could not be used as a basis of prediction of cows that would calve with bacteriologically positive subclinical mastitis or require selective nonlactating-cow antibiotic treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:1054–1057)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

Selenium concentration was measured in paired maternal blood samples and fetal liver specimens collected at a San Joaquin County, Calif, slaughterhouse (beef = 19, dairy = 54) and from bovine aborted fetuses submitted to the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (CVDLS; beef = 20, dairy = 20). Of the slaughterhouse samples and specimens, dairy maternal blood selenium concentration was significantly (P < 0.001) higher (mean ± sd; 0.22 ± 0.056 µg/ml) than that for beef breeds (0.137 ± 0.082 µg/ml). The CVDLS mean maternal blood selenium concentration for the dairy-breed samples (0.192 ± 0.028 µg/ml) was similar to that for the slaughterhouse dairy-breed samples, but was greater than that for the slaughterhouse beef-breed samples. Slaughterhouse mean fetal liver selenium content also was higher (P < 0.001) for the dairy breeds (0.777 ± 0.408 µg/g), compared with the beef breeds (0.443 ± 0.038 µg/g). Mean fetal liver selenium content for slaughterhouse specimens was higher (P < 0.002) than that for the CVDLS specimens (beef, 0.244 ± 0.149 µg/g; dairy, 0.390 ± 0.165 µg/g). At the CVDLS, dairy fetal liver content was greater (P < 0.001) than that for beef breeds. Mean ratio of fetal liver selenium content to maternal blood selenium concentration was 3.53 ± 1.89 for dairy breeds at the slaughterhouse (liver-to-blood correlation [r] = 0.38), and was 2.11 ± 1.00 for dairy breeds at the CVDLS (r = 0.31) and 3.43 ± 1.50 for beef breeds (r = 0.58). Both slaughterhouse breed ratios were significantly (P < 0.002) greater than the CVDLS dairy-breed ratio. On the basis of these results, breed and source location should be taken into account when interpreting selenium values. Fetal liver selenium content should only be used as a screening test and combined with whole blood selenium concentration from clinically normal herdmates to evaluate herd selenium status.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess changes in body weight, carcass quality, and fecal pathogen shedding in cull dairy cows fed a high-energy ration for 28 or 56 days prior to slaughter.

Design—Randomized clinical trial.

Animals—31 adult Holstein dairy cows.

Procedures—Cows were randomly assigned to a control (immediate slaughter) group or a 28-day or 56-day feeding group. Cows in the feeding groups received a high-energy feed and were weighed every 7 days. Carcasses were evaluated by USDA employees. Fecal and blood samples were collected at the start and end of the feeding periods.

Results—Body condition score and adjusted preliminary yield grade were significantly increased in both feeding groups, compared with values for the control group; body weight, hot carcass weight, dressing percentage, and ribeye area were significantly increased after 56 days, but not after 28 days, compared with values for the control group. Average daily gain and marbling score were significantly lower after feeding for 28 days versus after 56 days. Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 shedding in feces decreased from 14% to 5.6%, but this difference was not significant. Cows seropositive for antibodies against bovine leukemia virus that had signs of lymphoma and lame cows had a low average daily gain. Net loss was $71.32/cow and $112.80/cow for the 28-day and 56-day feeding groups, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Feeding market dairy cows improved body condition and carcass quality. Cows seropositive for antibodies against bovine leukemia virus that have signs of lymphoma and lame cows might be poor candidates for reconditioning.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine whether parenteral administration of selenium (Se) to calves and the amount of forage and protein provided to their dams affects unadjusted body weight, adjusted 205-day body weight, and average daily gain (ADG) of suckling beef calves.

Design

Randomized controlled field trial.

Animals

151 Hereford-Angus crossbred beef calves.

Procedure

Newborn calves, randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups, served as untreated controls (n = 49) or were given Se (0.05 mg/kg [0.023 mg/lb] of body weight, SC) once within 2 days of birth (55) or within 2 days of birth and on days 70, 114, and 149 (47). Until day 149, cow-calf pairs were pastured in fields in which the amount of available forage was high or low and supplemental protein was or was not provided. Calves were weighed on days 1, 70, 149, and 209. On days 160 and 209, blood was obtained from 33 calves for measurements of Se concentration.

Results

Mean consumption of supplemental protein was 0.65 kg/dam/d. Between days 1 and 70, calves that received the first of 4 multiple injections of Se had significantly greater ADG than control calves. Average daily gain for calves given only 1 injection was not significantly different from controls. Between days 70 and 149, ADG of calves increased with dietary supplementation of protein to their dams.

Clinical Implications

Strategic administration of Se to calves and dietary supplementation of protein to their dams may result in greater ADG in suckling beef calves during specific time intervals. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:816–821)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association