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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2018

Authors: Stanitznig, A; Lambacher, B; Nuyken, P; Kiefer, L; Franz, S; Wittek, T

Title: Hämatologische und blutchemische Parameter sowie Mineralstoff- und Spurenelementkonzentrationen im Serum bei Neuweltkamelen in Österreich.

Other title: New World camelids in Austria: a compilation of haematological and clinical-chemical parameters as well as serum concentrations of minerals and trace elements

Source: Wien Tierarztl Monat (105), 1-2 3-12.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Franz Sonja
Lambacher Bianca
Stanitznig Anna
Wittek Thomas

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Ruminants, Clinical Unit of Ruminant Medicine

Introduction Llamas and alpacas are becoming increasingly popular and veterinarians are increasingly confronted with these animals. To determine an animal's health status it is important to undertake a physical examination and to assess laboratory parameters such as haematology, blood chemistry and serum mineral concentrations (macro and trace elements). There is a need for reliable reference ranges to distinguish physiological from pathological results. Material and methods A total of 448 adult camelids (183 llamas and 265 alpacas) from 84 herds from all Austrian provinces were included. 405 to 417 blood samples were evaluated for haematology and blood chemistry, an analysis of minerals and trace elements. Results Reference ranges for haematology and blood chemistry and serum concentrations of the most important minerals and trace elements were calculated. Significant differences between llamas and alpacas were found in seven of the 32 parameters of haematology and blood chemistry (MCV: p<0.001; MPXI: p=0.021; percentage of segmental granulocytes: p=0.011; percentage of lymphocytes: p=0.010; absolute number of monocytes: p=0.011; GLDH: p=0.021; GGT: p<0.001). No significant differences were found between male and female animals and only one of the 32 parameters differed significantly depending on whether animals were kept above or below 2000 m above sea level (GLDH: p=0.033). There were significant differences between reference ranges for llama and alpacas for the serum concentrations of several minerals: K (p<0.001), Mg (p<0.001), Zn (p<0.001) and Cu (p=0.001). Females had significantly different values for K (p<0.001) and Mg (p=0.003) than males. Animals living above 2000 m above sea level had lower serum concentrations of K (p=0.001) and Se (p<0.001) but higher levels of Ca (p<0.001) and Mg (p=0.004). Conclusion In view of the significant differences in haematology and blood chemistry between llamas and alpacas, the haematology and blood chemistry of the two species should be evaluated separately. We suggest reference intervals for Ca, P, Se and Fe for all new world camelids. The reference intervals for Zn, Cu, K and Mg concentrations should be different for llamas and alpacas and for female and male alpacas.

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