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Control of nutritional muscular dystrophy in lambs by selenium implantation



Control of nutritional muscular dystrophy in lambs by selenium implantation



Animal Production. 13: 2, 315-321



Sixty ewes were fed a dystrophy-producing hay, and implantations of slow release Se pellets were made at mid-pregnancy (14 animals) and in late pregnancy (15 animals); the remainder were kept as controls. Se was determined at intervals on milk and blood samples from the ewes and on blood samples from the lambs. Various muscles were examined histologically for NMD lesions. Se levels in the milk of implanted ewes were higher than controls up to the 60th day of lactation and levels in the blood of both ewes and lambs were higher than controls during nursing. Higher Se conc. in blood of lambs at birth resulted from Se implantation at mid-pregnancy than in late pregnancy. However, by 30 days of age and thereafter, this difference was reversed. Large variability was encountered in the blood values for implanted ewes and their lambs. While complete protection against NMD was not achieved, implantation reduced the incidence and severity of the disease. The earlier implantation gave slightly fewer deaths from NMD, but the numbers were too small to make critical comparisons.

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Accession: 014399937

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DOI: 10.1017/S0003356100029755


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