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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2004

Prediction of vitamin A, vitamin E, selenium and zinc status of periparturient dairy cows using blood sampling during the mid dry period

Meglia GE, Holtenius K, Petersson L, Ohagen P, Waller KP


Vitamins A and E, and the trace elements selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn) are essential for the health and performance of dairy cows. Their concentrations often decrease around calving and extra Supplementation is sometimes recommended at that time. However, the need for this varies, for example depending on quantity and quality of feedstuffs in the diet. The aim of this study was to measure the concentrations of serum vitamin A (S-vit A) and vitamin E (S-vit E), plasma Se (P-Se) and serum Zn (S-Zn) in blood samples taken at several time points from one month before to one month after calving, and to evaluate if a blood sample taken during the mid dry period can accurately predict the blood concentration at calving and early lactation. Dairy cows oil 3 different feeding regimens during the dry period were included in the study. A significant decrease ill the concentrations of S-vit A and S-vit E, and S-Zn, was observed at calving, and P-Se was significantly lower during the dry period and at calving than in early lactation. The blood concentrations of S-vit E and P-Se in the mid dry period significantly predicted the occurrence of values considered marginal or deficient at the time of calving. The data indicate that a mid dry period concentration of greater than or equal to5.4 mg/l of S-vit E and greater than or equal to0.09 mg/l of P-Se will result in a 90% chance that the cow stays above marginal levels at calving given that a feed of the same quality is offered

Published in

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
2004, Volume: 45, number: 1-2, pages: 119-128