Original Research

Serum biochemistry in cows of different breeds presented with reproductive conditions

Keitiretse Molefe, Mulunda Mwanza
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 86, No 1 | a1742 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v86i1.1742 | © 2019 Keitiretse Molefe, Mulunda Mwanza | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 February 2019 | Published: 29 August 2019

About the author(s)

Keitiretse Molefe, Department of Animal Health, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science, North-West University, Mafikeng, South Africa
Mulunda Mwanza, Department of Animal Health, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science, North-West University, Mafikeng, South Africa


Minimising health problems and increasing yield have always been the objectives in livestock agriculture. Hence, increases in incidences of reproductive conditions in cattle farming pose a great threat to productivity and impose undesirable economic implications. This study aimed to examine the concentrations of different biochemical compounds in cows with reproductive conditions. Seventy-seven blood samples were collected from cows at different rural areas around Mafikeng, following cases of downer cow syndrome, dystocia, retained placenta, vaginal prolapse and abortion. Means of serum metabolites across the different reproductive conditions were statistically compared using Pearson’s chi-square test to determine variations of serum metabolites in cows of different breeds. In mixed breed cows, higher than normal calcium concentrations were observed in downer cow syndrome (25.25 ± 8.47) and dystocia (85.50 ± 8.46) cases. It was also observed that cholesterol concentrations were significantly low in abortion (2.52 ± 0.79), retained placenta (3.18 ± 0.61) and vaginal prolapse (2.37 ± 0.97) cases in Afrikaner cows. The study showed that Brahman (43.1%) and Afrikaner (43.1%) breeds were mostly affected by downer cow syndrome. Additionally, the occurrences of downer cow syndrome (53.9%) and abortions (60%) were mostly observed in cows of 1–3 years, in second and first parities, respectively. This study proves that concentrations of calcium, urea or blood urea nitrogen (BUN), magnesium and cholesterol are significantly altered in incidences of reproductive conditions in cows of different breeds. It is also shown that serum biochemistry is affected by reproductive conditions in cows of different ages and parity. This data serves as a tool that could be used to enhance research in animal production and reproduction.


animal health; cow; metabolic disorders; nutrition; reproductive performance; serum biochemistry


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