Blood mineral and vitamin e concentrations in llamas

Bradford B. Smith, Robert J. Van Saun, Pamela J. Reed, A. Morrie Craig, Annette Youngberg

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32 Scopus citations


Objective - To establish reference values for blood concentrations of total calcium (Ca), inorganic phosphorus (P), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), selenium (Se), and vitamin E (Vit E) in clinically normal llamas. Animals - 270 llamas ranging in age from < 1 month to > 15 years and grouped by age, sex, pregnancy status, and stage of gestation. Selected llamas were from 21 farms in Oregon, did not have previous health problems, and met specific health criteria on examination. Procedure - Serum and blood samples were obtained and analyzed for concentrations of Ca, P, Fe, Cu, Se, Zn, and Vit E, and total iron binding capacity (TIBC) and percentage of transferrin saturation (% Sat). Mean differences by age, sex, pregnancy status, and stage of gestation, as well as all interactions, were compared to establish reference values. Results - Mean values and reference ranges for most of the minerals and vitamins were similar to previously reported values. Male versus female differences were not identified for any measurements. Age was a significant variable for Ca, P, Fe, and Se concentrations, as well as Ca-to-P ratio and TIBC. Identified age-based effects were modeled by use of linear regression. Copper and Zn concentrations and % Sat did not differ as a function of age. Serum Vit E concentration was influenced by an age by sex interaction and stage of gestation. Conclusions - Age was found to be an important variable influencing many blood nutrient concentrations in healthy llamas. Clinical Relevance - Clinical diagnosis of metabolic disease may be improved with use of age-based reference values, especially for neonates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1070
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • veterinary(all)


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