Acta Vet. Brno 2017, 86: 141-149

The evaluation of Cu, Zn, Mn, and Se concentrations in the hair of South American camelids

Milada Holasová1, Alena Pechová1, Taťána Husáková2

1University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, Department of Animal Protection, Welfare and Behaviour, Brno, Czech Republic
2Private Veterinary Office, Lhoty u Potštejna, Czech Republic

Received November 21, 2016
Accepted May 31, 2017

The aim of this study was to monitor the content of trace elements in the hair of South American camelids and to evaluate the effect of coat colour, species, age, and sex on their concentration in the hair. The samples were collected from 77 animals – 23 llamas (Llama guanicoe f. gllama) and 54 alpacas (Llama guanicoe f. pacos) during a spring health check. The concentrations of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and manganese (Mn) were determined by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry and selenium (Se) by Hydride Generation Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. We found the following concentrations (mean ± standard deviation; mg/kg dry matter) in the llama hair: Cu 9.70 ± 4.69; Zn 145.20 ± 21.07; Mn 12.49 ± 10.14; Se 0.25 ± 0.14. In alpaca hair we found the following concentrations: Cu 10.22 ± 2.90; Zn 129.81 ± 19.01; Mn 12.67 ± 13.85; Se 0.48 ± 0.24. We found a significant difference between llamas and alpacas in Zn and Se concentrations in the hair. From all the evaluated factors we found that coat colour had the highest effect on Mn and Se concentration. Dark haired animals had significantly higher concentrations of these trace elements than other coloured groups. The evaluation of the concentration of trace elements in the hair of llamas has a potential to be used for the evaluation of long-term status of trace elements in the body; however, it is necessary to continue with experimental work in this area. Our findings can serve as a pilot study for further works in this field.


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