Acta Vet. Brno 2021, 90: 135-143

The effect of parenteral application of vitamin A, vitamin E, and β-carotene to pregnant cows on selected indices in their calves

Romana Kadek, Karolína Mikulková, Jaroslav Filípek, Josef Illek

University of Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Large Animal Clinical Laboratory, Brno, Czech Republic

Received December 25, 2020
Accepted May 26, 2021

The aim of the study was to determine the effect of parenteral application of vitamin preparations containing vitamins A, E, and β-carotene to pregnant cows (10–14 days before calving) on vitamin concentrations, haematological indices and the total antioxidant status (TAS) in their calves. Thirty cows were divided into 3 groups – control, the experimental group 1 (vitamins A, E), and experimental group 2 (β-carotene). Blood sampling in calves was performed immediately after birth, 2 h after receiving colostrum, 24 h after birth and 5–7 days after birth. The calves received the first 4 doses of colostrum from their mothers. The highest concentration of vitamin E was observed 5–7 days after birth in group 1 compared to the control (P < 0.05) and group 2 (P < 0.01). The concentration of β-carotene was the highest in group 2 (2 and 24 h after receiving colostrum) compared to group 1 (P < 0.01). The TAS was the highest in group 1 compared to the control (P < 0.05, P < 0.001) and group 2 (P < 0.01). A significant increase in haemoglobin (P < 0.01, P < 0.05) and haematocrit (P < 0.05, P < 0.01) was recorded in group 1 and group 2, respectively, compared to the control, as well as in the red blood cell count (P < 0.05) in group 2 compared to the control. The highest total protein was observed in the control group in all samplings. Parenteral application of vitamins to pregnant cows most likely had an effect on the concentrations of vitamins, TAS and haematological indices in their calves.


This study was supported by the grant IGA VFU Brno 106/2019/FVL, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Czech Republic.


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