Udder edema and association with some serum biochemical measurands and dietary factors in first calving cows

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran

2 MSc in Health Education and Promotion, International Campus of Shahid Sadoghi Medical University, Yazd, Iran

3 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran

4 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


The aims of this study were to determine some major biochemical alterations observed in first calving cows with udder edema during the periparturient period and to detect some associations between dietary factors and the disease. For that, the concentrations of some electrolytes (Na+, K+, Cl, Ca2+, P and Mg2+), lipid (triglycerides and cholesterol) markers and lipoproteins (HDL, LDL and VLDL) and total proteins were measured in serum samples collected from 70 first calving cows (35 with udder edema and 35 healthy
ones) whereas the percentages of dry matter and crude proteins and the electrolyte (Na+, K+, Cl, Ca2+, Mg2+, P and sulphates) amounts in feed rations were determined in parallel. The total protein, the calcium and the phosphorus as well as the concentrations of lipid markers and lipoproteins (HDL and LDL) were significantly decreased in first calving cows with udder edema compared to the healthy ones and these biochemical alterations were correlated with a reduced dry matter content and an electrolyte desequilibrium mainly involving Na+ and Cl– in feed rations distributed to the cows with udder edema. To our knowledge the
mechanism(s) of physiologic udder edema is uncertain and the obtained results suggest that a transient liver dysfunction (decreased total protein and LDL) probably linked to a feed ration deficient in dry matter may be involved in the aetiology of the udder edema in first calving cows.


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