Acta Vet. Brno 2007, 76: 519-524

Selenium Status in Heifers, Late Pregnancy Cows and Their Calves in the Šumava Region, Czech Republic

P. Slavík1, J. Illek2, T. Zelený3

1Department of Animal Nutrition,
2Clinic of Ruminant Diseases, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic
3Veterinary Centre, Sušice, Czech Republic

Received February 7, 2006
Accepted November 15, 2007

The objective of this study was to ascertain selenium status in beef cattle in different stages of production in the Šumava region. In the region, blood collections and analyses for selected metabolic variables were performed in 54 animals in different production stages (18 heifers, 18 cows in late pregnancy and 18 calves aged 3 weeks on the average). Three herds were studied. The selenium status was determined both directly by measuring serum selenium (Se) contents and indirectly by measuring glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity in whole blood. The mean serum selenium concentration in all the animals under study (n = 54) was 30.6 μg/l +/- 2.91, and mean GSH-Px activity was 167.01 μkat/l +/- 92.39. In heifers, mean serum selenium concentration was 34.81 μg/l +/- 13.84; mean GSHPx activity was 186.96 μkat/l +/- 112.15. In late pregnancy cows, mean serum selenium concentration was 26.58 μg/l +/- 8.01, mean GSH-Px activity was 94.55 +/- 35.72 μkat/l. In calves, mean serum selenium concentration and GSH-Px activity were 30.41 μg/l +/- 12 and 219.54 μkat/l +/- 64.41, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between the heifers and late pregnancy cows in both variables under study. However, between the late pregnancy cows and the calves, only the difference in GSH-Px activity was significant. The results indicate severe Se deficiency in the animals under study. It means apart from other things that mineral licks used did not provide enough minerals to meet the basic requirements of the animals.