Evaluation of a Bovine Commercial Colostrum Replacer and Passive Transfer in Springbok Calves (Antidorcas marsupialis)
Failure of passive transfer (FPT) is the inadequate absorption of immunoglobulins from colostrum that occurs in ruminant neonates. FPT has been shown to increase the risk of diarrhea, enteritis, septicemia, arthritis, omphalitis, pneumonia, and mortality in crias, calves, kids, and lambs.1-4 In zoologic establishments FPT can be a common occurrence in hand-raised ruminant neonates fed insufficient amounts of colostrum replacer and or poor quality colostrum replacer. The efficacy of specific colostrum replacers at achieving serum IgG concentration consistent with adequate passive transfer and tests to assess FPT have been intensely studied in domestic ruminants but few studies are available in non-domestic ruminants. This research assessed a commercially available bovine colostrum replacer’s (Land O’Lakes) ability to achieve serum immunoglobulin concentrations consistent with adequate passive transfer in springbok calves, (Antidorcas marsupialis). The hypothesis of the study was that feeding Land O’Lakes commercial bovine colostrum replacer to springbok calves at a dose of ≥4.65 g of IgG per kg of animal’s body weight will result in a proportion of neonates with adequate passive transfer similar to those that nursed maternal colostrum. The study determined the sensitivity and specificity of various tests (serum total protein, glutaraldehyde, gamma-glutamyl-transferase, globulin, and sodium sulfite) in determining passive transfer status in springbok calves. The morbidity and mortality until weaning was compared between springbok calves fed colostrum replacer and those that nursed maternal colostrum.
The authors thank the staff at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park for their help in the collection of samples and for the time they committed to provide excellent care of the calves in the study.
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