Passive immunity transfer failure is the most important cause of septicemia in the newborn foal. Good quality colostrum contains not less than 60 g Ig/L and low quality one less than 38 g/L. Levels normally in accordance with the foal protection are over 800 mg/dL IgG serum concentration at 18-24 hours from first suckling, when colostrum is ingested under optimal conditions (1.5-2 litres within 6 hours from delivery). Aim of this work was to measure growing evolution by morphological traits, APGAR test and haemochrome evaluation in two thoroughbred foal groups from the same breeding with different serum IgG level concentration. IgG serum concentration from 74 foals at 18-24 hours from first suckling and at 21 days of age was determined by semiquantitative Elisa test kits. Morphological traits (body weight, whiters height, chest and shin measurement), daily gain, APGAR test and haemochrome (RBC, WBC, Hb, PCV, PLT) were evaluated from 1 to 6 months of age and differences between A and B groups were statistically evaluated by JMP 8. In 70 foals (A group), 94.3%, IgG amounts were over 800 mg/dL, in 4 foals (B group), 5.7%, IgG levels were lower than 400 mg/dL. 1 litre colostrum per os from internal colostrum bank and parenteral immune serum (Plasmalife, Siena) were administered to B group foals. Body weight differences were statistically significant between A and B (266.48 kg vs 259.25 kg) at 6 months. No differences were observed between other morphological traits. 97.3% foals was APGAR test as 7-8. 2.3% was 6 (1 from B group, 0 from A group). No statistically significant differences were observed between RBC, WBC, Hb, PCV, PLT at 21 days test. The enlightenment to breeders about the incidence and high risk of passive immunization failure by foals should be intensified. At the same time we confirm that early and specific interventions as excellent colostrum supplementation and specific hyper-immune serum administration might prevent failure of immunity passive transfer.
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