Clinical Signs and Blood Variables of Pregnancy Toxemia Goats during Late Gestation and Postpartum

A. A. Affan, A. Salleh, M. Zamri-Saad, A. Jayanegara, H. A. Hassim


Pregnancy toxemia is one of the common metabolic diseases in ruminant, which has caused a huge economic impact on the dairy industry. Thus, this study aimed to describe the clinical and blood changes in pregnant goats following induction of pregnancy toxemia. Twelve pregnant goats were divided into control (n=3) and treatment (n=9) groups. The control was fed a diet with adequate energy while the treatment group was exposed to 50% reduction in the energy intake to induce pregnancy toxemia. Blood samples were collected at weekly intervals for biochemical analyses, which included glucose, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), free fatty acid (FFA), calcium, sodium, potassium, chloride, cortisol, and insulin. On days 20 (PK20) and 40 (PK40) post-induction, 3 induced and 1 control goat was slaughtered while the remaining 3 induced goats were provided with a normal balanced diet to allow recovery (PKRD). The induction resulted in acute pregnancy toxemia after 20 days with clinical signs including weakness, loss of body condition, and recumbency. At 40 days, chronic pregnancy toxemia resulted in signs such as incoordination and abortion. There was significant (p<0.05) decrease in the glucose, insulin, calcium, and potassium levels in the induced goats while the concentrations of BHBA, FFA, and cortisol were significantly (p<0.05) higher. Furthermore, the blood profiling was significantly (p<0.05) different between the PK20, PK40, and PKRD groups and was strongly associated with the presence of clinical signs and ketone bodies in the urine. The 50% reduction in energy intake resulted in acute pregnancy toxemia after 20 days and chronic pregnancy toxemia after 40 days. In conclusion, serum biochemical profile is a potential biomarker to assess the mild and severe pregnancy toxemia in does during the late gestation and postpartum period through changes in blood profiling.


Abd-Elghany, H., Y. Seham, & S. Saad. 2011. Some Immunohormonal changes in experimentally pregnant toxemic goats. Vet. Med. Int. 8:5-11.
Al-Qudah, K. M. 2011. Oxidant and antioxidant profile of hyperketonemic ewes affected by pregnancy toxemia. Vet. Clin. Pathol. 40:60-65.
Anoushepour, A., P. Mottaghian, & S. Mehdi. 2014. The comparison of some biochemical parameters in hyperketonemic and normal ewes. Eur. J. Exp. Biol. 4:83-87.
Azmi, F. M. A., A. A. A. Ghani, M. Ajat, K. S. Lai, M. Zamri-Saad, A. B. Zuki, & H. A. Hassim. 2016. Histological changes of liver tissue and serobiochemical relation in does with pregnancy ketosis. Jurnal Ilmu Ternak dan Veteriner 21:96.
Bani Ismail, Z. A., A. M. Al-Majali, & F. Amireh. 2008. Pregnancy toxemia in small ruminants. Vet. Clin. Pathol. 37:434-437.
Barakat, S. E. M., G. E. Al-Bhanasawi, N. M. Elazhari, & A. O. Bakhiet. 2007. Clinical and serobiochemical studies on naturally occurring pregnancy toxaemia in Shamia goats. J. Anim. Vet. Adv. 6:768- 772.
Balikci, E., A. Yildiz, & F. Gurdogan. 2009. Investigation on some biochemical and clinical parameters for pregnancy toxemia in Akkaraman ewes. J. Anim. Vet. Adv. 8:1268-1273.
Bechmann, L. P., R. A. Hannivoort, G. Gerken, G. S. Hotamisligil, M. Trauner, & A. Canbay. 2012. The interaction of hepatic lipid and glucose metabolism in liver diseases. J. Hepatol. 56:952-964.
Brockmanr, P. & B. Laarveld. 2010. Effects of insulin on net hepatic metabolism of acetate and 8-hydroxybutyrate in sheep (Ovis aries). Comp. Biochem. Physiol., Part A Mol. Integr. Physiol. 16:255-257.
Brozos, C., V. S. Mavrogianni, & G. C. Fthenakis. 2011. Treatment and control of peri parturient metabolic diseases: pregnancy toxemia, hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia. Vet. Clin. North Am. Food Anim. Pract. 27:105-113.
Cal-Pereyra, L., J. R. Benech, González-Montaña, J. Acosta-Dibarrat, S. Da Silva, & A. Martín. 2015. Changes in the metabolic profile of pregnant ewes to an acute feed restriction in late gestation. N. Z. Vet. J. 63:141-146.
De Lima, L. S., C. R. Alcalde, H. S. Freitas, B. S. D. Molina, F. D. F. Macedo, & J. A. Horst. 2012. Performance of dairy goats fed diets with dry yeast from sugar cane as protein source. R. Bras. Zootec. 41:232-236.
Duffield, T. F., D. F. Kelton, K. E. Leslie, K. D. Lissemore, & J. H. Lumsden. 2009. Use of test day milk fat and milk protein to detect subclinical ketosis in dairy cattle in Ontario. Can. Vet. J. 38:713-718.
El-Dee, W. M. 2012. Novel biomarkers for pregnancy toxemia in ewes: Acute phase proteins and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Sci. Rep. 1:242-243.
Ford, E. J. H., J. Evans, & I. Robinson. 2010. Cortisol in pregnancy toxaemia of sheep. Br. Vet. J. 146:539-542.
Forslund, K. B., O. A. Ljungvall, & B. V. Jones. 2010. Low cortisol levels in blood from dairy cows with ketosis: A field study. Acta Vet. Scand. 52:1-6.
Hefnawy, A. E., S. Shousha, & S. Youssef. 2011. Haematobiochemical profile of pregnant and experimentally pregnancy toxaemic goats. J. Basic Appl. Chem. 1:65-69.
Koyuncu, M. 2013. Importance of body condition score in dairy goats. Macedonian Journal of Animal Science 3:167-173.
McArt, J. A. A., D. V. Nydam, P. A. Ospina, & G. R. Oetzel. 2011. A field trial on the effect of propylene glycol on milk yield and resolution of ketosis in fresh cows diagnosed with subclinical ketosis. J. Dairy Sci. 94:6011-6020.
Menzies, P. I. 2011. Pregnancy Toxemia in Ewes: Hepatic Lipidosis. 4th ed. Merial Press, USA.
Moallem, U., A. Rosov, H. Honig, L. Ofir, L. Livshits, & E. Gootwine. 2016. Molasses based supplement improved the metabolic status of late-pregnant ewes bearing multiple fetuses. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 16:1-35.
Motshakeri, M., M. Ebrahimi, Y. M. Goh, H. H. Othman, M. Hair-Bejo, & S. Mohamed. 2014. Effects of brown seaweed (Sargassum polycystum) extracts on kidney, liver, and pancreas of type 2 diabetic rat model. Evid. Based Complement. Alternat. Med. 4:1-11.
Morais, M. J., C. C. Sevillaa, J. T. Dizonb, G. L. Manulatc, E. E. C. Abesc, & A. A. Angeles. 2018. Growth performance and ruminal metabolic variables of goats fed rain tree (Samanea saman) pods. Trop. Anim. Sci. J. 41:22-28.
NRC (National Research Council). 2007. Nutrient Requirements of Small Ruminants: Sheep, Goats, Corvids, and New World Camelids. 4th ed. National Research Council, National Academies Press, Washington D.C.
Ondieki, G. & M. Renita. 2012. Nutritional strategies to mitigate the effects of negative energy balance on reproductive performance of early postpartum. Am. J. Anim. Vet. Sci. 7:194-197.
Rahman, A. R. 2015. Issues and challenges in commercializing new livestock technologies. In Proceedings of 32nd MSAP Annual Conference. p. 13-18.
Roberts, T., N. Chapinal, S. J. LeBlanc, D. F. Kelton, J. Dubuc, & T. F. Duffield. 2012. Metabolic parameters in transition cows as indicators for early lactation culling risk. J. Dairy Sci. 95:3057-3063.
Schlumbohm, C., H. P. Sporleder, H. Gortler, & J. Harmeyer. 2007. Insulin and glucagon secretion in goats. Vet. Clin. Pathol. 104: 359-365.
Sordillo, L. M. & W. Raphael. 2013. Significance of metabolic stress, lipid mobilization and inflammation on transition cow disorders. Vet. Clin. North Am. Food Anim. Pract. 29:267-278.
Tadesse, D. T. 2012. Management practices, productive performances and farm management in Shewa, Ethiopia. Agricultural Research Outputs 19:21-26.
Vasava, P. R., R. G. Jani, H. V. Goswami, S. D. Rathwa, & F. B. Tandel. 2016. Studies on clinical signs and biochemical alteration in pregnancy toxemic goats. Vet. World. 9:869-874.


A. A. Affan
A. Salleh
M. Zamri-Saad
A. Jayanegara
H. A. Hassim (Primary Contact)
AffanA. A., SallehA., Zamri-SaadM., JayanegaraA., & HassimH. A. (2022). Clinical Signs and Blood Variables of Pregnancy Toxemia Goats during Late Gestation and Postpartum. Tropical Animal Science Journal, 45(1), 84-90.

Article Details

List of Cited By :

Crossref logo