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J Anim Sci. 1992 Dec;70(12):3928-33.

Clinical assessment of selenium status of livestock.

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Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824.


Assessment of the selenium status of livestock is an important aspect of production medicine, but variations in reported values between laboratories and between methods may be > 30%. Reliable interpretations require considerable experience with an assay and an extensive database from field and research case samples of a variety of species. The Michigan State University Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory (MSU-ADHL) has offered Se analyses by acid-digestion and fluorometric detection since 1982. This laboratory expects serum Se values (nanograms per milliliter) of livestock to increase gradually with age from starting ranges for neonates of 50 to 80 for calves and sheep and 70 to 90 for foals and pigs. Expected or "normal" values for the adults are in the ranges of 70 to 100 for cattle, 120 to 150 for sheep, 130 to 160 for horses, and 180 to 220 for swine. Normal liver Se concentrations are considered to range between 1.2 and 2.0 micrograms/g on a dry weight basis, regardless of the species or age. Based on samples submitted to MSU-AHDL between September 1990 and August 1991, contemporary feeding practices in the Michigan area resulted in mean serum Se values (nanograms per milliliter) of 75 +/- 19 for adult Holsteins, 170 +/- 27 for adult swine (mixed breeds), and 137 +/- 30 for adult race horses. Within that period of time, two field cases of Se toxicity were diagnosed. One involved feeder pigs with a recorded high serum Se value of 1,525 ng/mL due to a commercial premix manufacturing error.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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