Bovine post-parturient haemoglobinuria: two distinct entities in New Zealand

Bovine post-parturient haemoglobinuria: two distinct entities in New Zealand
Peer reviewed


Haematological and biochemical features of sixteen cases of post-parturient haemoglobinuria (PPH) from 15 farms in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions are described. Characteristically there was a marked regenerative anaemia as well as spherocytosis and haemoglobinaemia. Heinz body formation occurred in 140% of erythrocytes depending on the case. Nine of 11 cases examined had subnormal serum inorganic phosphorus concentrations. On two of eight farms there was widespread anaemia in clinically healthy herd mates and in one of these the anaemia was associated with large numbers of Heinz bodies. Hypophosphataemia was widespread in four of ten herds and individual cows were hypophosphataemic in all ten. Six of eight herds had a low selenium status as determined by glutathione peroxidase activity in whole blood. Hypocupraemia and hypomagnesaemia were not consistent findings. It is concluded that there are two distinct entities of PPH in the region. On one farm the disease was typical of that seen in Northland, New Zealand. The clinical case was a young cow and there was widespread subclinical Heinz body anaemia in herd mates. All but one of the cows sampled in that herd had normal serum inorganic phosphorus levels. On most other farms PPH closely resembled that described from North America. Affected cases were miltiparous, high producing and had low serum inorganic phosphorus levels. The possible pathogenesis of these two entities is discussed.

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