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Can J Vet Res. 2007 Oct;71(4):249-55.

Monitoring blood glucose levels in female mink during the reproductive cycle: 2. Effects of short-term fish oil, chromium picolinate, and acetylsalicylic acid supplementation during late lactation.

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  • 1Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Department of Plant and Animal Sciences and Canadian Centre for Fur Animal Research, PO Box 550, Truro, Nova Scotia B2N 5E3.


Mink nursing sickness is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia that is similar to the metabolic syndrome associated with type 2, or non-insulin-dependent, diabetes mellitus. This research studied the effects of short-term administration of antidiabetic supplements on the blood glucose concentration in female mink during late lactation. Female mink that had blood glucose levels < 5.5 mmol/L (normoglycemic [NG]) or > or = 5.5 mmol/L (hyperglycemic [HG]) early in lactation were given daily supplements of various combinations of herring oil (HerO, 3% in diet), chromium picolinate (CrPic, 200 microg), and acetylsalicylic acid (ASA, 100 mg) for 1 wk starting at day 21 post partum. In the NG mink, most of the treatments did not significantly change the blood glucose concentration from day 28 to 42 post partum. However, treatment with ASA alone and treatment with the combination HerO-CrPic-ASA elevated the blood glucose levels when compared with those of the control group, which had received just the basal diet. In the HG mink, all treatment combinations except CrPic alone and ASA alone, reduced the blood glucose concentration. Thus, in lactating mink with hyperglycemia, the blood glucose concentration may be effectively lowered by dietary antidiabetic supplementation; however, because hyperglycemia also occurs before nursing, preventive measures are recommended throughout the year.

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