Hypocalcemia was diagnosed in 48 Ossimi ewes in a flock of 125 sheep. Clinical signs, feed analysis, biochemical findings, and response to treatment were used for diagnosis. Lactating ewes were more frequently affected (56.25%) than pregnant (33.33%) and dry non-pregnant (10.41%) ewes. Teeth grinding, voiding soft pellets, absence of recumbency, non-tympanic rumen, dry mouth, and thin body condition were atypical findings. Ruminal fluid analysis showed significant increases of potassium and ammonia (P < 0.05), and a significant decrease of magnesium (P < 0.05) in diseased ewes, as compared with clinically normal ewes. Serum calcium, magnesium, and glucose in the diseased ewes were significantly lower (P < 0.001), (P < 0.01), (P < 0.05) than in clinically normal and control ewes, respectively; however, there was a significant increase of acetone (P < 0.01). In all, 2 ewes were slaughtered due to the failure to respond to treatment and only the kidneys had gross abnormality. Histopathological examination showed degenerative changes in the renal tubules, with deposition of calcium oxalate crystals. The results of this study indicate that the clinical syndrome of hypocalcemia and renal failure occurred in Ossimi sheep that feed on beet tops. The observed atypical signs of hypocalcemia highlight the importance of examining serum and ruminal fluid to determine the proper intervention.
Hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia, beet tops, Ossimi sheep, Egypt
EL-KHODERY, SABRY; EL-BOSHY, MOHAMED; GAAFAR, KHALID; and ELMASHAD, ABDELBASET (2008) "Hypocalcaemia in Ossimi Sheep Associated with Feeding on Beet Tops (Beta vulgaris)," Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences: Vol. 32: No. 3, Article 8. Available at: https://journals.tubitak.gov.tr/veterinary/vol32/iss3/8