Haematological, biochemical and selected acute phase protein reference intervals for weaned female Merino lambs

M. L. Lepherd, P. J. Canfield, Geraldine B Hunt, K. L. Bosward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Merino lambs are currently the subject of much research into the welfare aspects of mulesing and mulesing alternatives. Objective Obtain haematology, biochemistry and acute phase protein reference intervals using modern methodologies for female Merino lambs. Method Blood was collected from 50, weaned, 9- to 16-week-old, female Merino lambs. Haematology and biochemistry panels were performed using routine automated methods. The acute phase proteins, fibrinogen, serum amyloid A and haptoglobin, were also measured using commercially available techniques. The reference intervals were determined to be the central 95% of results. Results Differences in the concentrations for some analytes were seen when compared with reported studies in sheep, but may be explained by the use of sheep of a different signalment, as well as different methodologies for analyte measurement. Overall, most analytes gave similar values to those previously reported in other studies. Notable exceptions were alkaline phosphatase, phosphate and globulins, for which the different results were often attributed to the younger age of the sheep in the present study, and platelets and creatine kinase, for which the elevated levels may have been a result of stress and muscle exertion associated with blood collection and husbandry practices. Conclusion Established haematological, biochemical and acute phase protein reference intervals are necessary for the investigation of the systemic impact of mulesing and mulesing alternatives and for the investigation of systemic diseases affecting weaned, 9- to 16-week-old, female Merino lambs in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
Volume87
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acute phase proteins
  • Biochemistry
  • Haematology
  • Merino
  • Reference intervals
  • Sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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