Background: Pregnant goat does can develop various metabolic diseases during late pregnancy that may have profound effects on their health and productivity, including subclinical pregnancy toxemia.
Objectives: This study was performed to evaluate serum biochemical findings in goats in late pregnancy with and without subclinical pregnancy toxemia.
Methods: Serum samples were obtained from 153 clinically healthy goats in the last trimester of pregnancy from 14 herds in central and northern Jordan. Serum was analyzed for the following constituents: 3-hydroxybutyrate (3-HB), glucose, total protein, albumin, urea, creatinine, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol, triglycerides, cortisol, T3, T4, total calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, using commercially available kits. Goats were classified as having subclinical pregnancy toxemia or as controls on the basis of 3-HB results. Biochemical results were compared between the 2 groups using nonparametric statistical tests.
Results: Fifty-three does had subclinical pregnancy toxemia (3-HB>0.86 mmol/L) and 100 were pregnant control does (3-HB≤0.86 mmol/L). Does with subclinical pregnancy toxemia had significantly lower glucose concentrations (P<.001) and significantly higher urea (P=.042) and total protein (P=.048) concentrations compared with pregnant control does. 3-HB concentration was significantly correlated with glucose (r=0.290, P=.035), phosphorus (r=0.351, P=.01), and cortisol (r=0.394, P=.004) concentrations in goats with subclinical toxemia.
Conclusions: Results of this study indicate that the biochemical profile of does with subclinical pregnancy toxemia differs from that of other pregnant goats. 3-HB should be measured in pregnant does in late stages of gestation with hypoglycemia or with elevated urea and total protein concentrations.