Levels of selected minerals, nitric oxide, and vitamins in aborted Sakis sheep raised under semitropical conditions.

Research paper by Ismail I Aytekin, Serap Unubol SU Aypak

Indexed on: 16 Nov '10Published on: 16 Nov '10Published in: Tropical Animal Health and Production


The serum levels of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron and of nitric oxide, retinol, and β-carotene were determined in Sakiz ewes that had experienced an abortion and in healthy controls. Ten healthy and 25 aborted Sakiz sheep were selected from Afyon zone in western Turkey. Their ages ranged between 2 and 4 years weighing between 40 and 60 kg at the time of experiment. All of the abortions occurred in October. The concentrations of retinol, β-carotene, phosphorus, and zinc were significantly lower and those of calcium and nitric oxide were increased in aborted ewes relative to healthy controls. The serum levels of iron, copper, and magnesium were not significantly different among the two groups. In conclusion, abortion is an important problem in commercially important species of ruminants in many regions in the tropics including of western Turkey. Deficiencies of retinol, β-carotene, phosphorus and zinc, and the increase of calcium and nitric oxide concentration may play an important role in the etiology of abortion in ewes. Prophylactic measures such as vitamin and mineral supplementation may be of help to prevent or reduce the incidence of abortion in sheep.