The aim of this study was to document the haematological profile of pregnant ewes throughout gestation. Sheep were divided into three groups (n = 8 per group): non-pregnant, singleton, or twin pregnancy. Blood samples were collected every 14 days from day 55 of gestation for haemoglobin concentration; packed cell volume; total protein; and albumin concentration. On days 55 and 125 of gestation blood was collected for trace element estimation: soluble copper and zinc; glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx); and methylmalonic acid (MMA). Pooled faecal samples were collected on days 55, 97, and 139 of gestation. Pasture cuts were collected on days 97 and 153 of gestation. The haematology and protein concentrations were not different between groups throughout the study. Copper concentration increased in all animals during the study (p < 0.0001). Zinc concentration was lowest in the singleton and twin pregnant sheep on day 55 of gestation (p = 0.04). GSHPx was not different between groups during the study. MMA decreased in all animals during the study (p < 0.0001), but was not different between groups. Faecal samples were consistently negative for strongyle and nematode eggs, and coccidian oocysts. The pasture was good quality. Pregnant sheep in a farm environment with normal trace element status, no parasites, and an adequate diet, did not develop anaemia (PCV < 0.27).
|Location of Publication||Basel, Switzerland|