Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Unusual Blood Serum Total Protein Numbers
I have been corresponding with a veterinarian working with a group of dairies in Viet Nam. He reports unusual blood serum total protein numbers.
Blood samples from calves 36 to72 hours old have blood serum total protein values with a mean or average between 6.5 and 7.0. Yes, he did recalibrate the refractometer. A next step would be to split a few samples and send them to a lab to verify the readings.
Given the heat stress on the dams the calves tend to be small (30kg). They are fed an adequate volume of colostrum (3l in first few hours of life). Colostrum is checked for antibody concentration and only the colostrum at 50g/dl is fed first feeding. 
He thought to sample some calves before they received colostrum. The average value for blood serum total protein was about 5.5g/dl. Yes, 5.5. A recent study here in US that bled calves at birth reported values between 4.1 and 4.3g/dl. 
In our in-house lab it is not uncommon for us to have readings from calves that supposedly received colostrum between 3.8 and 4.1. 
So, this is a bit of a puzzle.

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