Assessment of the serum zinc, copper, β-carotene and vitamin A and hoof zinc and copper status in different locomotion scores of dairy cattle

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Para-veterinary Science, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

2 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

3 Department of Basic Sciences, Applied Science Education Center of Farab Amarlou, Jirandeh, Iran

4 Graduated from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Food Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

6 Graduated from Faculty of Chemistry, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran


Serum level of zinc, copper, β-carotene, vitamin A, and concentrations of Zn and Cu in hoof of 97
multiparous Holstein dairy cows with different locomotion scores (LSs) were evaluated. Simultaneously, Zn
and Cu concentrations of close up, fresh and high yielding cattle rations were 77, 94, 75 and 31, 28, 22 ppm, respectively. Based on LSs, despite normal serum copper levels in all three groups, with increasing degree of lameness serum and hoof Cu concentrations of the severe lame group were significantly lower than healthy and moderate lame groups (P=0.0178) and (P=0.0002), respectively. Serum β-carotene and vitamin A level of the three groups were sub-optimal. Significant negative correlations were observed between LSs with serum vitamin A level (r=-0.246, P=0.0145), LSs with hoof Cu concentration (r=-0.323, P=0.0150) and serum Zn concentration and Cu (r=-0.281, P=0.032). The results suggest that the deterioration of hoof tissue may be associated with reduced copper hoof content. Our findings demonstrated that lame group was at risk of subclinical vitamin A deficiency, which could be established from the healthy stages. Possibly, excess consumption of Zn could conflict with Cu absorption and utilization. Furthermore, vitamin A supplementation may have assisted in reduction of lameness in experimental animals. In conclusion, the serum and hoof concentrations and dietary intake of copper, zinc and vitamin A can have an impact on degrees of lameness and their interactions should be considered.