Determination of trace elements (Fe, Cu and Zn) in serum and tail hair of healthy horses as a function of nutritional differences in certain months
AbstractStrong and poor relationships between the levels of trace elements in blood, tissue and hair have been determined in various studies. The horses in this study have been fed with dry straw and artificial feed in winter months, with fresh grass in autumn and spring. The purpose was to investigate possible changes in the levels of trace elements such as Fe, Cu and Zn in different feeds (straw-fresh grass) supplied at different periods of the year. The levels of trace elements such as Fe, Cu and Zn in both serum and tail hair of horses from the Gemlik Military Veterinary School were determined by Atomic Absorption (Shimadzu AA-680 Spectrophotometer) in November (n=19), March (n=19) and May (n=19). According to the results of this study, the Fe levels in serum and hair samples was significantly (p < 0.05) increased in May as compared to November and March levels The Cu level in serum and hair samples examined in May was significantly (p < 0.05) decreased as compared to those in November and March. The zinc level in serum samples showed a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in March, while in May there was a significant (p < 0.01) increase when compared to November levels. The observed level of Zn in hair samples did not show statistically significant (p < 0.05) changes. In conclusion, changes in the levels of trace elements can occur with changes in nutrition programs without, causing any diseases. It is, however, advisable to provide a regular supplement of vitamins and trace element.
KEY WORDS: horse, hair, trace element, iron, copper, zinc
Nigerian Veterinary Journal Vol.25(1) 2004: 9-13