Objective—To determine effects of breed and supplemental administration of vitamin E and selenium (Se) during late gestation on circulating concentrations of these micronutrients in periparturient Jerseys and Holsteins.
Design—Randomized controlled clinical study.
Animals—16 Jersey and 36 Holstein cows.
Procedure—Cows were allotted to blocks on the basis of breed and expected parturition date. Cows within blocks were randomly assigned to be given vitamin E or Se parenterally 3 to 4 weeks prior to anticipated parturition in a 2 × 2 factorial design.
Results—Results of ANOVA indicated Jerseys had higher blood concentrations of Se and lower serum concentrations of vitamin E than Holsteins at the end of lactation. Jerseys had higher blood concentrations of Se than Holsteins 3 to 4 weeks prior to parturition and at parturition. Selenium administration increased blood concentrations of Se at parturition. Administration of nutrients did not affect serum concentrations of vitamin E at parturition or 2 to 3 weeks after parturition or blood concentrations of Se 2 to 3 weeks after parturition.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Jerseys and Holsteins consuming rations of comparable Se content differ in blood concentrations of Se during the nonlactating period, suggesting breed-related differences in Se metabolism during late lactation and the nonlactating period. Parenteral administration of Se 3 to 4 weeks prior to anticipated parturition increased blood concentrations of Se at parturition; however, Se concentrations of both groups at parturition were considered within the reference range for clinically normal cattle. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1052–1056)