Authors: KONSTANTINOS POURLIOTIS, MARIA KARATZIA, EFTERPI CHRISTAKI, PANAGIOTIS KATSOULOS, HARILAOS KARATZIAS`
Abstract: The administration of a natural zeolite, clinoptilolite, in newborn calves via colostrum and milk has been proven to be beneficial in enhancing the intestinal absorption of immunoglobulins and in reducing the incidence and the severity of diarrhoea syndrome. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a 2-month-long supplementation at 2 levels (1 g/kg body weight (BW) and 2 g/kg BW) of clinoptilolite in the colostrum and milk of dairy calves had any effect on their haematological parameters. A total of 84 clinically healthy Holstein calves were assigned to 1 of 3 groups immediately after calving. Group A (n = 28) received clinoptilolite at the rate of 1 g/kg BW per day, initially via colostrum and later via milk. Group B (n = 28) received clinoptilolite at the rate of 2 g/kg BW per day via colostrum and milk, and group C (n = 28), which served as the control, received colostrum and milk without clinoptilolite supplementation. The experiment started at the day of parturition and lasted up to the 60th day after calving. Blood samples were collected from each calf at birth; 12 h, 24 h, and 48 h after calving; and at the age of 15, 30, 45, and 60 days. All samples were tested for packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin (Hb) concentration, and the number of red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets (PLTs). The results showed that the addition of both levels of clinoptilolite to the colostrum and milk significantly increased PCV, RBCs, and the concentration of Hb, but did not have a significant effect on WBC and PLT counts. Overall, clinoptilolite administration via colostrum and milk appeared to enhance the haemopoiesis in newborn calves without having any adverse effect on WBC and PLT values.
Keywords: Clinoptilolite, packed cell volume, red blood cells, haemoglobin, platelets, calves
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