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Metabolic imbalances, hoof injuries, and metabolic profile of high-producing Holstein × Gir cowsshowing lameness

Desequilíbrios metabólicos, lesões nos cascos e perfil metabólico de vacas Holandesa × Gir de alta produção apresentando claudicação

ABSTRACT:

This study attempted to determine the associations between metabolic imbalances and lameness or hoof injuries in high-producing Holstein × Gir cows, and to determine whether the metabolic profile affects the occurrence of lameness. Eighty cows were followed from -60 to 60 days relative to calving and hoof injuries were reported on days -60, 7 and 60. Locomotion score (LS), body condition score (BCS), the concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids, β-hydroxybutyrate, glucose, cholesterol, albumin, total protein, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, and the activity of aspartate aminotransferase were determined at days -42, -21, -7, 0, 7, 21 and 42. The McNemar and Chi-square tests were used to compare frequencies of lameness and hoof injuries over time and to verify the associations between lameness, BCS, hoof injuries, and metabolic disorders. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used considering groups (non-lame × lame cows) and variations of BCS and metabolites over time. Lameness and hoof injuries increased between days -60 (20% and 66.3%) and 60 (44.7% and 98.6%). Excessive postpartum loss of BCS (P=0.017) and subclinical hypocalcemia (P=0.012) were associated with lameness on day 60. In general, the metabolic profile did not differ between lame and non-lame cows but cholesterol, albumin, BUN and magnesium concentrations were higher in non-lame cows. The postpartum decrease in BCS can affect the occurrence of lameness, and the metabolic profile of lame cows shows little difference from that of non-lame cows.

INDEX TERMS:
Dairy cow; transition period; body condition score; metabolic disorders; hoof lesions; lameness; bovine

RESUMO:

Este estudo objetivou verificar as associações entre desequilíbrios metabólicos e claudicação ou lesões nos cascos em vacas mestiças Holandesa × Gir de alta produção e determinar se o perfil metabólico afeta a ocorrência de claudicação. Oitenta vacas foram acompanhadas de -60 a 60 dias em relação ao parto e as lesões nos cascos foram avaliadas nos dias -60, 7 e 60. O escore de locomoção (EL), o escore de condição corporal (ECC), as concentrações de ácidos graxos não esterificados, β-hidroxibutirato, glicose, colesterol, albumina, proteína total, nitrogênio ureico no sangue (BUN), cálcio, fósforo e magnésio e a atividade da aspartato aminotransferase foram determinados nos dias -42, -21, -7, 0, 7, 21 e 42. Os testes de McNemar e de Qui-quadrado foram empregados para comparar as frequências de claudicação e de lesões nos cascos ao longo do tempo e para verificar as associações entre claudicação, ECC, lesões nos cascos e distúrbios metabólicos. A análise de variâncias de medidas repetidas bifatorial foi usada considerando-se grupos (vacas com claudicação × vacas sem claudicação) e variações de BCS e de metabólitos ao longo do tempo. A claudicação e as lesões nos cascos aumentaram entre os dias -60 (20% e 66,3%) e 60 (44,7% e 98,6%). A perda excessiva de ECC no pós-parto (P=0,017) e a hipocalcemia subclínica ao parto (P=0,012) foram associadas com claudicação no dia 60. Em geral, o perfil metabólico não diferiu entre vacas com e sem claudicação, mas as concentrações de colesterol, albumina, BUN e magnésio foram maiores em vacas sem claudicação. A redução do ECC no periodo pós-parto pode afetar a ocorrência de claudicação, e o perfil metabólico das vacas claudicantes apresenta pouca diferença em relação ao das vacas não claudicantes.

TERMOS DE INDEXAÇÃO:
vaca leiteira; período de transição; escore de condição corporal; distúrbios metabólicos; lesões do casco; claudicação; bovinos

Introduction

Lameness is a very important problem in cows, affecting animals welfare, interfering with natural behavior, ovarian activity, and estrus intensity (Whay & Shearer 2017Whay H.R. & Shearer J.K. 2017. The impact of lameness on welfare of the dairy cow. Vet. Clin. N. Am., Food Anim. Pract. 33(2):153-164. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2017.02.008> <PMid:28392188>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2017.02.0...
), and causing economic losses due to decreased productivity of dairy herds, treatment costs (Liang et al. 2017Liang D., Arnold L.M., Stowe C.J., Harmon R.J. & Bewley J.M. 2017. Estimating US dairy clinical disease costs with a stochastic simulation model. J. Dairy Sci. 100(2):1472-1486. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-11565> <PMid:28012631>), and compromised reproductive efficiency (Charfeddine & Pérez-Cabal 2017Charfeddine N. & Pérez-Cabal M.A. 2017. Effect of claw disorders on milk production, fertility, and longevity, and their economic impact in Spanish Holstein cows. J. Dairy Sci. 100(1):653-665. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-11434> <PMid:27865503>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-11434...
). The intensity of lameness is related to the presence and severity of hoof injuries, which increase the sensitivity to mechanical nociceptive stimuli (Whay et al. 1997Whay H.R., Waterman A.E. & Webster A.J.F. 1997. Associations between locomotion, claw lesions and nociceptive threshold in dairy heifers during the peri-partum period. Vet. J. 154(2):155-161. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s1090-0233(97)80053-6> <PMid:9308402>
https://doi.org/10.1016/s1090-0233(97)80...
). Changes in the locomotion score (LS) vary depending on the type of hoof injury, and lesions such as sole ulcer, double sole, interdigital dermatitis, and fissure of the white line markedly affect the LS (Tadich et al. 2010Tadich N., Flor E. & Green L. 2010. Associations between hoof lesions and locomotion score in 1098 unsound dairy cows. Vet. J. 184(1):60-65. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.01.005> <PMid:19211281>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.01.0...
, Bran et al. 2018Bran J.A., Daros R.R., von Keyserlingk M.A.G., LeBlanc S.J. & Hötzel M.J. 2018. Cow- and herd-level factors associated with lameness in small-scale grazing dairy herds in Brazil. Prev. Vet. Med. 151(1):79-86. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2018.01.006> <PMid:29496110>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2018...
, Moreira et al. 2019Moreira T.F., Nicolino R.R., Meneses R.M., Fonseca G.V., Rodrigues L.M., Facury Filho E.J. & Carvalho A.U. 2019. Risk factors associated with lameness and hoof lesions in pasture-based dairy cattle systems in southeast Brazil. J. Dairy Sci. 102(11):10369-10378. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-16215> <PMid: 31495614>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-16215...
).

Postpartum body condition score (BCS) is associated with the occurrence of lameness, and cows with BCS <3.0 have a higher risk (Hoedemaker et al. 2009Hoedemaker M., Prange D. & Gundelach Y. 2009. Body condition change ante- and postpartum, health and reproductive performance in German Holstein cows. Reprod. Domest. Anim. 44(2):167-173. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0531.2007.00992.x> <PMid:18564311>
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0531.2007...
, Bran et al 2018Bran J.A., Daros R.R., von Keyserlingk M.A.G., LeBlanc S.J. & Hötzel M.J. 2018. Cow- and herd-level factors associated with lameness in small-scale grazing dairy herds in Brazil. Prev. Vet. Med. 151(1):79-86. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2018.01.006> <PMid:29496110>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2018...
). This finding could be explained by the relationship between the BCS and the thickness of the digital cushion. The lower the BCS is, the lower the thickness is, increasing the presentation of hoof injuries, mainly sole ulcer (Bicalho et al. 2009Bicalho R.C., Machado V.S. & Caixeta L.S. 2009. Lameness in dairy cattle: A debilitating disease or a disease of debilitated cattle? A cross-sectional study of lameness prevalence and thickness of the digital cushion. J. Dairy Sci. 92(7):3175-3184. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2008-1827> <PMid:19757545>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2008-1827...
, Newsome et al. 2017Newsome R.F., Green M.J., Bell N.J., Bollard N.J., Mason C.S., Whay H.R. & Huxley J.N. 2017. A prospective cohort study of digital cushion and corium thickness. Part 1: associations with body condition, lesion incidence, and proximity to calving. J. Dairy Sci. 100(6):4745-4758. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12012> <PMid:28434744>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12012...
). This relationship between BCS and the digital cushion by itself does not explain the presentation of injuries, and other genetic and hormonal factors and physiological states are likely to be involved (Newsome et al. 2017Newsome R.F., Green M.J., Bell N.J., Bollard N.J., Mason C.S., Whay H.R. & Huxley J.N. 2017. A prospective cohort study of digital cushion and corium thickness. Part 1: associations with body condition, lesion incidence, and proximity to calving. J. Dairy Sci. 100(6):4745-4758. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12012> <PMid:28434744>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12012...
). High-producing dairy cows have a negative energy balance (NEB) in the transition period, causing them to lose BCS. Large losses of BCS are associated with metabolic disorders (Allen & Piantoni 2013Allen M.S. & Piantoni P. 2013. Metabolic control of feed intake. Implications for metabolic disease of fresh cows. Vet. Clin. N. Am., Food Anim. Pract. 29(2):279-297. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2013.04.001> <PMid:23809892>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2013.04.0...
), which could influence the occurrence of lameness.

The prevalence of lameness in dairy herds in Brazil is between 16% and 50%, including observations in Holstein (Costa et al. 2018Costa J.H.C., Burnett T.A., von Keyserlingk M.A.G. & Hötzel M.J. 2018. Prevalence of lameness and leg lesions of lactating dairy cows housed in southern Brazil: Effects of housing systems. J. Dairy Sci. 101(3):2395-2405. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-13462>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-13462...
, Moreira et al. 2019Moreira T.F., Nicolino R.R., Meneses R.M., Fonseca G.V., Rodrigues L.M., Facury Filho E.J. & Carvalho A.U. 2019. Risk factors associated with lameness and hoof lesions in pasture-based dairy cattle systems in southeast Brazil. J. Dairy Sci. 102(11):10369-10378. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-16215> <PMid: 31495614>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-16215...
) and Holstein × Gir cows (Moreira et al. 2019Moreira T.F., Nicolino R.R., Meneses R.M., Fonseca G.V., Rodrigues L.M., Facury Filho E.J. & Carvalho A.U. 2019. Risk factors associated with lameness and hoof lesions in pasture-based dairy cattle systems in southeast Brazil. J. Dairy Sci. 102(11):10369-10378. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-16215> <PMid: 31495614>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-16215...
). Holstein × Gir (Zebu) cows are crosses that have high milk yield and high rusticity, which makes them important in tropical countries (Santana et al. 2014Santana M.L., Pereira R.J., Bignardi A.B., El Faro L., Tonhati H. & Albuquerque L.G. 2014. History, structure, and genetic diversity of Brazilian Gir cattle. Livest. Sci. 163(1):26-33. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2014.02.007>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2014.02...
). In these cows a high presentation of hoof injuries such as heel erosion, white line fissure, and sole hemorrhages was reported (Moreira et al. 2018Moreira T.F., Nicolino R.R., Andrade L.S., Facury Filho E.J. & Carvalho A.U. 2018. Prevalence of lameness and hoof lesions in all year-round grazing cattle in Brazil. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 50(8):1829-1834. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-018-1626-3> <PMid:29846882>
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-018-1626-...
).

Few studies have investigated the relationship between energy metabolism or metabolic profile and the occurrence of lameness (Ristevski et al. 2017Ristevski M., Toholj B., Cincović M., Trojačanec P., Starič J. & Smolec O. 2017. Milk production, body condition score and metabolic parameters at the peak of lactation as risk factors for chronic lameness in dairy cows. Kafkas Univ. Vet. Fak. Derg. 23(5):721-727. <https://dx.doi.org/10.9775/kvfd.2017.17593>
https://doi.org/10.9775/kvfd.2017.17593...
, Paiano et al. 2019Paiano R.B., Birgel D.B., Ollhoff R.D. & Birgel Junior E.H. 2019. Biochemical profile and productive performance in dairy cows with lameness during postpartum period. Acta Scient. Vet. 47:1673. <https://dx.doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775>
https://doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775...
) or hoof injury (Sepúlveda-Varas et al. 2018Sepúlveda-Varas P., Lomb J., von Keyserlingk M.A.G., Held R., Bustamante H. & Tadich N. 2018. Claw horn lesions in mid-lactation primiparous dairy cows under pasture-based systems: association with behavioral and metabolic changes around calving. J. Dairy Sci. 101(10):9439-9450. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-14674> <PMid:30100516>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-14674...
). All of these studies involved observations in Holstein cows. Only one study was carried out with Holstein × Gir cows, but investigated the physical characteristics of the hoof (Casagrande 2013Casagrande F.P. 2013. Perfil metabólico e mineral de vacas no período peri-parto: qualidade e conformação dos cascos. Tese de Doutorado, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte. 148p.). Our hypothesis was that the presentation of lameness or hoof injuries in high producing Holstein × Gir cows is associated with metabolic imbalances in the transition period and with the loss of BCS in early lactation and that the metabolic profile is different between lame and non-lame cows. The objective of this study was to determine the associations between metabolic imbalances and lameness or hoof injuries, as well as to determine whether the metabolic profile interferes with the occurrence of lameness in the pre- and postpartum periods.

Materials and Methods

The study presented here was a longitudinal and prospective cohort study with convenient sample and was part of a PhD thesis (Cucunubo Santos 2020Cucunubo Santos L.G. 2020. Perfil metabólico em vacas mestiças (Holandês × Gir) de alta produção: efeitos de condição corporal, grau de sangue, produção de leite, claudicações e lesões do casco. Tese de Doutorado, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina. 106p.). The project was approved by the Ethics Committee on the Use of Animals (CEUA) of the “Universidade Estadual de Londrina” (UEL), Brazil, under protocol number 24111.2017.23, and was carried out in accordance with Brazilian law and guidelines of National Council for Animal Experiment Control (CONCEA). Eighty Holstein × Gir cows with 7 months of gestation were selected in a dairy farm located in Minas Gerais, Brazil (19°38’09.5” S, 44°56’14.7” W, and 698m altitude). The average production was 13,600kg per day, with 620 lactating cows.

The study was performed from May 2018 to February 2019, and the average minimum temperature varied from 12 to 20°C, while the maximum varied from 28 to 31°C. The studied cows were in their second and third (n=60) or fourth to sixth (n=20) pregnancies.

Cows in the dry period (60 to 21 prepartum days) were kept on grass pasture (Panicum maximum) with free access to water and mineral salt, receiving corn silage eventually according to the pasture availability. During the transition period and lactation, the cows were kept in an open confinement system, being fed a total mixed ration (TMR) calculated for each stage (Table 1). In addition to the TMR, lactating cows had access to pastures during the rainy months (November to February). The open confinement system was characterized by roofless corrals with unpaved ground, except the feeding area to avoid the accumulation of feces and mud. The cows had good available individual space (10 to 20m2).

Table 1.
Ingested diets in the prepartum transition period and in the first 100 days of lactation by high-producing Holstein × Gir cows

Cows were milked twice a day using a mechanical milking system. The distance between the corral and the milking parlor was 100m with a regular paved floor. The cows waited up to 30 min in the waiting area. Once a week they passed through a footbath (3.0×1.5×0.2m) containing 5% formaldehyde located at the milking parlor exit. Preventive hoof trimming was routinely performed on all cows on the farm only once a year. This procedure occurred two months before the study began.

All procedures were performed by a single trained examiner. BCS was determined with the aid of BCS Cowdition app (Bayer Animal Health, Germany), available for smartphones, using the scale described by Ferguson et al. (1994)Ferguson J.D., Galligan D.T. & Thomsen N. 1994. Principal descriptors of body condition score in Holstein cows. J. Dairy Sci. 77(9):2695-2703. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(94)77212-X>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(9...
, while the LS was determined using a scale from 1 to 5 described by Sprecher et al. (1997)Sprecher D.J., Hostetler D.E. & Kaneene J.B. 1997. A lameness scoring system that uses posture and gait to predict dairy cattle reproductive performance. Theriogenology 47(6):1179-1187. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0093-691x(97)00098-8> <PMid:16728067>
https://doi.org/10.1016/s0093-691x(97)00...
. BCS and LS were evaluated on days -60 (-55±5), -21 (-19±4), -7 (-6±2), 0, 7, 21, 42, and 60 relative to calving. The 4 limbs were examinated to determine the presentation of hoof injuries on days -60, 7 and 60 relative to calving. The hoofs were subjected to a simple and superficial cleaning, removing 2mm of sole with a hoof knife. The hoof injuries were defined according to the standardized classification (ICAR 2020ICAR 2020. Claw Health Atlas. 2nd ed. ICAR, Rome, p.9-45. Available at <Available at https://www.icar.org/ICAR_Claw_Health_Atlas.pdf > Accessed on November 11, 2017.
https://www.icar.org/ICAR_Claw_Health_At...
, Borges et al. 2017Borges J.R.J., Câmara A.C.L., Moscardini A.R.C., Rodrigues C.A., Pitombo C.A., Graça F.A.S., Silva L.A.F., Silva P.C.A.R., Cunha P.H.J., Vianna R.B., Rabelo R.E. & Ollhoff R.D. 2017. Doenças dos dígitos dos bovinos: nomenclatura padronizada para o Brasil. Revta CFMV 23(73):45-52.). The severity of the injuries was also evaluated using the methodology of Tadich et al. (2010)Tadich N., Flor E. & Green L. 2010. Associations between hoof lesions and locomotion score in 1098 unsound dairy cows. Vet. J. 184(1):60-65. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.01.005> <PMid:19211281>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.01.0...
and Miguel-Pacheco et al. (2017)Miguel-Pacheco G.G., Thomas H.J., Huxley J.N., Newsome R.F. & Kaler J. 2017. Effect of claw horn lesion type and severity at the time of treatment on outcome of lameness in dairy cows. Vet. J. 225(1):16-22. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2017.04.015> <PMid:28720293>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2017.04.0...
. Mild, moderate, and severe injuries were classified as degree 1, 2, and 3, respectively.

Blood samples were taken by coccygeal venipuncture on days -42 (-40±4), -21 (-19±4), -7 (-6±2), 0, 7, 21, and 42 relative to calving. Vacuum tubes without anticoagulant and with EDTA and sodium fluoride were used, and serum and plasma were obtained after centrifugation (2,000 × g for 10min) and kept frozen (-20°C) in 2mL aliquots until processing. Serum concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), cholesterol, albumin (Alb), total protein (TP), urea nitrogen (BUN), total calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and phosphorus (P); plasma concentration of glucose; and serum activity of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were measured in an automated spectrophotometer (Dimension Xpand Plus®; Siemens; São Paulo/SP, Brazil).

At days 7 and 42 of lactation, 200mL of ruminal fluid was taken by ororuminal tube 4 hours after the morning feeding. The first 180mL were discarded and the pH was measured using a portable digital pH meter (Akso Exact Instrument®; China).

The McNemar test was applied to compare proportions of cows with and without lameness and/or hoof injuries at different times relative to calving (-60 × 7 days, -60 × 60 days, and 7 × 60 days). Considering the specific days -60, 7 and 60 relative to calving, the associations between the presentation of lameness and the low BCS, the presence of hoof injury, and the presentation of pre- and postpartum metabolic imbalances were tested by Chi-square or by the exact Fisher test. On the same specific days, the associations between the loss of BCS in the postpartum period (0 to 60 days in milk; DIM) with lameness or the presence of some hoof injuries were also tested. For this, the BCS loss was classified as moderate (≤0.5) and excessive (≥0.75).

For analysis of the metabolic profile, the cows were grouped into lame and non-lame cows, in the prepartum and in the postpartum periods. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to test the effect of time relative to calving (-42, -21 -7, 0, 7, 21, and 42 days), the effect of lameness (non-lame × lame cows), and the interaction between these two factors. All measured metabolites and the BCS were included in these analyses. Two-way ANOVA was used to compare the pH of rumen fluid in lame and non-lame cows in the postpartum period at the two times of sample collection (7 and 42 DIM). Tukey’s test was used for all multiple comparisons. An error probability of 5% was admitted for all tests. The SigmaPlot package for Windows 13.1 (Systat Software Inc., San Jose, California) was used for statistical analysis. In the specific case of McNemar test, the OpenEpi program was used6 6 Available at <http://www.OpenEpi.com> Accessed on May 30, 2019. .

Results

The studied cows yielded 7,461±2,096kg of milk in 291±65 DIM. The presentation of lameness and hoof lesions varied differently over time, increasing in the postpartum period (Fig.1, Table 2). Most affected cows had mild lameness. At 60 DIM, a total of 476 lesions were found in the examined hoofs, and 80.8% of these injuries were classified as mild. Severe injuries were infrequent (2.4%). The most frequent injuries were heel erosion and axial wall fissure, while other infectious injuries were rare (Table 2).

Fig.1.
Percentage of lameness in high-producing Holstein × Gir cows from 60 days pre-calving to 60 days in milk. Locomotion score: 1 = healthy cow; 2 = mild lameness; 3 or 4 = moderate or severe lameness.

Table 2.
Associations comparing the presentations of lameness and/or hoof injuries in high-producing Holstein × Gir cows at days -60, 7, and 60 relative to calving

There was a trend of association between lameness and low BCS (Table 3). This condition was found in 47.6% (10/21) of lame cows and 23.7% (14/59) of non-lame cows at 7 DIM, and in 76.4% (26/34) of lame cows and 52.3% (22/42) of non-lame cows at 60 DIM. Lameness was associated with hoof injuries, with SCH on days -60 and 60, and with prepartum Alb<30g/L at 7 DIM. Pre- and postpartum NEB was not related to lameness (Table 3).

Table 3.
Associations between the presentation of lameness at days -60, 7, and 60 relative to calving in high-producing Holstein × Gir cows and the presentation of pre- and postpartum metabolic disorders

Postpartum BCS loss was moderate in 50 cows (65.8%) and excessive in 26 (34.2%). The magnitude of BCS loss was not related to the occurrence of lameness, heel erosion, axial wall or white line fissures, and sole hemorrhage or erosion, on days -60 and 7. However, on day 60, lameness was more frequent (P=0.017) in cows that had excessive BCS loss (17/26, 65.4%) compared to those that had moderate BCS loss (17/50, 34.0%). There was a trend towards a higher frequency of axial wall fissure (20/26, 76.9%, P=0.062) in cows with excessive loss of BCS compared to cows with moderate loss (26/50, 52.0%).

Lame cows in the prepartum period had lower concentrations of BHB, cholesterol, Alb, BUN, and Mg (Table 4). Interactions were shown for cholesterol and Mg. Cholesterol was higher in non-lame cows at 21 and 42 DIM (4.00±0.86 and 5.19±1.30mmol/L, respectively) compared to lame cows (3.44±0.98 and 4.07±1.36mmol/L, respectively). Mg was higher, at 7 and 21 DIM, in non-lame cows (0.91±0.15 and 0.99±0.14mmol/L, respectively) than in lame cows (0.77±0.16 and 0.91±0.15mmol/L, respectively).

Table 4.
Metabolic profile of high-producing Holstein × Gir cows grouped by presentation of lameness in the prepartum period and in early lactation. Effect of group (G), effect of days relative to calving (D), and interaction between the two factors

Considering the presentation in the postpartum period, lame cows showed lower values of BCS, cholesterol, glucose, Alb, BUN, Ca and Mg (Table 4). Interactions were verified for cholesterol and glucose. Cholesterol was lower in lame cows on days -42 (2.80±1.10mmol/L), 7 (2.18±0.56mmol/L), 21 (3.36±0.82mmol/L) and 42 (4,168±1.38mmol/L), compared to non-lame cows (3.20±1.22mmol/L, 2.71±0.67mmol/L, 4.18±0.84mmol/L, and 5.40±1.17mmol/L, respectively). On calving day, glucose was also lower in lame cows (4.81±2.04mmol/L vs. 5.70 ±2.24mmol/L).

The pH of rumen fluid was lower (P<0.001) in lame (6.54±0.25) than non-lame (6.71±0.31) cows, as well as on day 7 (6.56±0.30) compared to day 42 (6.74±0.24).

Discussion and Conclusion

The occurrence of lameness increased after calving, reinforcing previous observations in Holstein cows (Whay et al. 1997Whay H.R., Waterman A.E. & Webster A.J.F. 1997. Associations between locomotion, claw lesions and nociceptive threshold in dairy heifers during the peri-partum period. Vet. J. 154(2):155-161. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s1090-0233(97)80053-6> <PMid:9308402>
https://doi.org/10.1016/s1090-0233(97)80...
), and the presentation of moderate and severe lameness was higher at 60 DIM (6.6%). This frequency was lower than that reported in Holstein × Gir (16%) (Moreira et al. 2018Moreira T.F., Nicolino R.R., Andrade L.S., Facury Filho E.J. & Carvalho A.U. 2018. Prevalence of lameness and hoof lesions in all year-round grazing cattle in Brazil. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 50(8):1829-1834. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-018-1626-3> <PMid:29846882>
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-018-1626-...
) and Holstein cows (42.5%) (Costa et al. 2018Costa J.H.C., Burnett T.A., von Keyserlingk M.A.G. & Hötzel M.J. 2018. Prevalence of lameness and leg lesions of lactating dairy cows housed in southern Brazil: Effects of housing systems. J. Dairy Sci. 101(3):2395-2405. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-13462>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-13462...
). The frequency of mild lameness at 60 DIM (38.2%) was, in its turn, higher than that reported by Moreira et al. (2018)Moreira T.F., Nicolino R.R., Andrade L.S., Facury Filho E.J. & Carvalho A.U. 2018. Prevalence of lameness and hoof lesions in all year-round grazing cattle in Brazil. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 50(8):1829-1834. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-018-1626-3> <PMid:29846882>
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-018-1626-...
(18%). The low prevalence of lameness indicates good farm management and can be the result of the hoof trimming performed 2 months before the start of the study: however, a single hoof trimming does not always have a positive effect on cows with moderate lameness (García-Muñoz et al. 2017García-Muñoz A., Singh N., Leonardi C. & Silva-del-Río N. 2017. Effect of hoof trimmer intervention in moderately lame cows on lameness progression and milk yield. J. Dairy Sci. 100(11):9205-9214. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12449>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12449...
). The foot baths containing formaldehyde, used routinely in the studied herd, are considered one of the effective preventive measures for lameness (Greenough 2007cGreenough P.R. 2007c. Claw trimming, foot baths, restraint, bandaging, lifts, and shoes, p.170-198. In: Ibid. (Ed.), Bovine Laminitis and Lameness. Saunders Elsevier, Edinburgh. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-7020-2780-2.50018-5>
https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-7020-2780...
).

Hoof injuries also increased in early lactation, affecting almost all cows, and heel erosion was the most frequent injury. These results are similar to previous observations in Holstein × Gir cows (Moreira et al. 2018Moreira T.F., Nicolino R.R., Andrade L.S., Facury Filho E.J. & Carvalho A.U. 2018. Prevalence of lameness and hoof lesions in all year-round grazing cattle in Brazil. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 50(8):1829-1834. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-018-1626-3> <PMid:29846882>
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-018-1626-...
). Axial wall fissure also presented high occurrence in our study, which contrasts with the claim that it has low prevalence in Brazil (Borges et al. 2017Borges J.R.J., Câmara A.C.L., Moscardini A.R.C., Rodrigues C.A., Pitombo C.A., Graça F.A.S., Silva L.A.F., Silva P.C.A.R., Cunha P.H.J., Vianna R.B., Rabelo R.E. & Ollhoff R.D. 2017. Doenças dos dígitos dos bovinos: nomenclatura padronizada para o Brasil. Revta CFMV 23(73):45-52.). This type of injury is common in cows kept in pasture systems and is associated with long-distance walking on trails with abundant gravel (Somers & O’Grady 2015Somers J. & O’Grady L. 2015. Foot lesions in lame cows on 10 dairy farms in Ireland. Irish Vet. J. 68:10. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13620-015-0039-0> <PMid:26097681>
https://doi.org/10.1186/s13620-015-0039-...
). The studied cows were kept on a compacted dirt floor containing small stones, which could explain the high prevalence. However, the stones were present in relatively small quantities.

Hoof injuries were associated with presentation of lameness. However, some cows showed hoof injuries but no changes in the LS, reinforcing that the LS may not be a sensitive indicator of the presence of all types of injuries (Tadich et al. 2010Tadich N., Flor E. & Green L. 2010. Associations between hoof lesions and locomotion score in 1098 unsound dairy cows. Vet. J. 184(1):60-65. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.01.005> <PMid:19211281>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.01.0...
, Moreira et al. 2018Moreira T.F., Nicolino R.R., Andrade L.S., Facury Filho E.J. & Carvalho A.U. 2018. Prevalence of lameness and hoof lesions in all year-round grazing cattle in Brazil. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 50(8):1829-1834. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-018-1626-3> <PMid:29846882>
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-018-1626-...
). The excessive postpartum loss of BCS was related to the occurrence of lameness at 60 DIM, tending to be associated with the occurrence of some hoof injuries. Low BCS in early lactation is a risk factor for the presentation of lameness in high-producing Holstein cows kept in confined (Hoedemaker et al. 2009Hoedemaker M., Prange D. & Gundelach Y. 2009. Body condition change ante- and postpartum, health and reproductive performance in German Holstein cows. Reprod. Domest. Anim. 44(2):167-173. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0531.2007.00992.x> <PMid:18564311>
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0531.2007...
, Ristevski et al. 2017Ristevski M., Toholj B., Cincović M., Trojačanec P., Starič J. & Smolec O. 2017. Milk production, body condition score and metabolic parameters at the peak of lactation as risk factors for chronic lameness in dairy cows. Kafkas Univ. Vet. Fak. Derg. 23(5):721-727. <https://dx.doi.org/10.9775/kvfd.2017.17593>
https://doi.org/10.9775/kvfd.2017.17593...
) or in pasture (Alawneh et al. 2014Alawneh J.I., Stevenson M.A., Williamson N.B., Lopez-Villalobos N. & Otley T. 2014. The effects of live weight loss and milk production on the risk of lameness in a seasonally calving, pasture fed dairy herd in New Zealand. Prev. Vet. Med. 113(1):72-79. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2013.10.010> <PMid:24188821>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2013...
) systems. This was also shown for Holstein × Gir cows (Moreira et al. 2019Moreira T.F., Nicolino R.R., Meneses R.M., Fonseca G.V., Rodrigues L.M., Facury Filho E.J. & Carvalho A.U. 2019. Risk factors associated with lameness and hoof lesions in pasture-based dairy cattle systems in southeast Brazil. J. Dairy Sci. 102(11):10369-10378. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-16215> <PMid: 31495614>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-16215...
). Bicalho et al. (2009)Bicalho R.C., Machado V.S. & Caixeta L.S. 2009. Lameness in dairy cattle: A debilitating disease or a disease of debilitated cattle? A cross-sectional study of lameness prevalence and thickness of the digital cushion. J. Dairy Sci. 92(7):3175-3184. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2008-1827> <PMid:19757545>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2008-1827...
found a direct relationship between BCS and the thickness of the digital cushion and demonstrated that the presentations of sole ulcer and white line disease were associated with decreased thickness of the digital cushion. However, the results of Newsome et al. (2017)Newsome R.F., Green M.J., Bell N.J., Bollard N.J., Mason C.S., Whay H.R. & Huxley J.N. 2017. A prospective cohort study of digital cushion and corium thickness. Part 1: associations with body condition, lesion incidence, and proximity to calving. J. Dairy Sci. 100(6):4745-4758. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12012> <PMid:28434744>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12012...
indicate that despite this relationship, other predisposing factors, such as the integrity of the suspensory apparatus, calving, physiological and hormonal status, genetics, and the previous existence of hoof injuries, may be even more important.

No association was found between NEB and lameness, and the occurrence of subclinical ketosis was infrequent (8.7%), which could indicate that the cows presented a good energy balance. The concentrations of NEFA and BHB did not differ between lame and non-lame cows in the postpartum period, but BHB concentrations were higher in lame cows before calving. Since the concentration was lower than 1.2mmol/L, which is considered the critical value indicator of subclinical ketosis (McArt et al. 2013McArt J.A.A., Nydam D.V., Oetzel G.R., Overton T.R. & Ospina P.A. 2013. Elevated non-esterified fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyrate and their association with transition dairy cow performance. Vet. J. 198(3):560-570. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.08.011> <PMid:24054909>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.08.0...
), it can be assumed that the difference does not have biological importance. To date, there is poor information on the relationship between metabolic status and the presentation of lameness and hoof injuries. It was shown that cows with postpartum hoof injuries (Sepúlveda-Varas et al. 2018Sepúlveda-Varas P., Lomb J., von Keyserlingk M.A.G., Held R., Bustamante H. & Tadich N. 2018. Claw horn lesions in mid-lactation primiparous dairy cows under pasture-based systems: association with behavioral and metabolic changes around calving. J. Dairy Sci. 101(10):9439-9450. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-14674> <PMid:30100516>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-14674...
) and cows with severe lameness (Paiano et al. 2019Paiano R.B., Birgel D.B., Ollhoff R.D. & Birgel Junior E.H. 2019. Biochemical profile and productive performance in dairy cows with lameness during postpartum period. Acta Scient. Vet. 47:1673. <https://dx.doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775>
https://doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775...
) had higher concentrations of NEFA and BHB. In Holstein cows, it was shown that high milk yield, low BCS and high concentration of BHB are important risk factors for the occurrence of chronic lameness (Ristevski et al. 2017Ristevski M., Toholj B., Cincović M., Trojačanec P., Starič J. & Smolec O. 2017. Milk production, body condition score and metabolic parameters at the peak of lactation as risk factors for chronic lameness in dairy cows. Kafkas Univ. Vet. Fak. Derg. 23(5):721-727. <https://dx.doi.org/10.9775/kvfd.2017.17593>
https://doi.org/10.9775/kvfd.2017.17593...
). NEFA and BHB are energy metabolite indicators of lipomobilization and high concentrations in the transition period are associated with a higher risk for some diseases (Allen & Piantoni 2013Allen M.S. & Piantoni P. 2013. Metabolic control of feed intake. Implications for metabolic disease of fresh cows. Vet. Clin. N. Am., Food Anim. Pract. 29(2):279-297. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2013.04.001> <PMid:23809892>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2013.04.0...
, McArt et al. 2013McArt J.A.A., Nydam D.V., Oetzel G.R., Overton T.R. & Ospina P.A. 2013. Elevated non-esterified fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyrate and their association with transition dairy cow performance. Vet. J. 198(3):560-570. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.08.011> <PMid:24054909>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.08.0...
). However, there are no cutoff points related to the occurrence of lameness or hoof injuries.

The contrast between our results and those of these other researchers can probably be explained by the fact that most of the studied cows had mild lameness and a mild degree of hoof injuries. In contrast, Ristevski et al. (2017)Ristevski M., Toholj B., Cincović M., Trojačanec P., Starič J. & Smolec O. 2017. Milk production, body condition score and metabolic parameters at the peak of lactation as risk factors for chronic lameness in dairy cows. Kafkas Univ. Vet. Fak. Derg. 23(5):721-727. <https://dx.doi.org/10.9775/kvfd.2017.17593>
https://doi.org/10.9775/kvfd.2017.17593...
and Paiano et al. (2019)Paiano R.B., Birgel D.B., Ollhoff R.D. & Birgel Junior E.H. 2019. Biochemical profile and productive performance in dairy cows with lameness during postpartum period. Acta Scient. Vet. 47:1673. <https://dx.doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775>
https://doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775...
studied cows with moderate to severe lameness and Sepúlveda-Varas et al. (2018)Sepúlveda-Varas P., Lomb J., von Keyserlingk M.A.G., Held R., Bustamante H. & Tadich N. 2018. Claw horn lesions in mid-lactation primiparous dairy cows under pasture-based systems: association with behavioral and metabolic changes around calving. J. Dairy Sci. 101(10):9439-9450. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-14674> <PMid:30100516>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-14674...
studied cows that had severe hoof injuries. In these situations, the involvement of energy metabolism could be more pronounced. Zhang et al. (2015)Zhang G., Hailemariam D., Dervishi E., Deng Q., Goldansaz S.A., Dunn S.M. & Ametaj B.N. 2015. Alterations of innate immunity reactants in transition dairy cows before clinical signs of lameness. Animals 5(3):717-747. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani5030381> <PMid:26479383>
https://doi.org/10.3390/ani5030381...
also found no differences in NEFA and BHB concentrations in cows with severe lameness compared to healthy cows in early lactation. However, the number of cows per group was very small.

In relation to cholesterol, the lame cows showed lower concentrations mainly in the postpartum period, which agrees with previous observations (Paiano et al. 2019Paiano R.B., Birgel D.B., Ollhoff R.D. & Birgel Junior E.H. 2019. Biochemical profile and productive performance in dairy cows with lameness during postpartum period. Acta Scient. Vet. 47:1673. <https://dx.doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775>
https://doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775...
). Cholesterol is considered an indicator of energy balance, especially in early lactation, since its concentration is positively related to dry matter intake (Cavestany et al. 2005Cavestany D., Blanc J.E., Kulcsar M., Uriarte G., Chilibroste P., Meikle A., Febel H., Ferraris A. & Kral E. 2005. Studies of the transition cow under a pasture-based milk production system: metabolic profiles. J. Vet. Med. A 52(1):1-7. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0442.2004.00679.x> <PMid:15703003>
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0442.2004...
). On the other hand, cows with postpartum diseases have lower concentrations (Sepúlveda-Varas et al. 2015Sepúlveda-Varas P., Weary D.M., Noro M. & von Keyserlingk M.A.G. 2015. Transition diseases in grazing dairy cows are related to serum cholesterol and other analytes. PLoS One 10(3):e0122317. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0122317> <PMid:25807462>
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.012...
, Ruprechter et al. 2018Ruprechter G., Adrien M.L., Larriestra A., Meotti O., Batista C., Meikle A. & Noro M. 2018. Metabolic predictors of peri-partum diseases and their association with parity in dairy cows. Res. Vet. Sci. 118:191-198. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2018.02.005> <PMid:29518709>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2018.02.0...
), which could reflect lower food intake. The effects of lameness or hoof injuries on cholesterol metabolism should be clarified. Cows with clinical laminitis have been shown to have higher expression of ApoA-IV apoliprotein and HMGCR membrane glycoprotein, which are related to cholesterol transport and biosynthesis, respectively (Dong et al. 2015Dong S.-W., Zhang S.-D., Wang D.-S., Wang H., Shang X.-F., Yan P., Yan Z.-T. & Yang Z.-Q. 2015. Comparative proteomics analysis provide novel insight into laminitis in Chinese Holstein cows. BMC Vet. Res. 11:161. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-015-0474-x> <PMid:26202328>
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-015-0474-...
). It is uncertain whether this phenomenon also occurs in other digital diseases.

Holstein × Gir cows that showed lameness, before or after calving, showed slightly lower concentrations of Alb and BUN, but the TP did not differ from non-lame cows. Similar results for TP and Alb have already been reported in lame Holstein cows at the beginning of lactation (Paiano et al. 2019Paiano R.B., Birgel D.B., Ollhoff R.D. & Birgel Junior E.H. 2019. Biochemical profile and productive performance in dairy cows with lameness during postpartum period. Acta Scient. Vet. 47:1673. <https://dx.doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775>
https://doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775...
). In contrast, cows with chronic laminitis may have lower concentrations of TP (Belge et al. 2004Belge F., Bildik A., Belge A., Kiliçalp D. & Atasoy N. 2004. Possible association between chronic laminitis and some biochemical parameters in dairy cattle. Aust. Vet. J. 82(9):556-557. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-0813.2004.tb11201.x> <PMid:15478727>
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-0813.2004...
). Alb is a negative acute phase protein that can predict postpartum diseases when decreased before calving (Bertoni et al. 2008Bertoni G., Trevisi E., Han X. & Bionaz M. 2008. Effects of inflammatory conditions on liver activity in puerperium period and consequences for performance in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 91(9):3300-3310. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2008-0995> <PMid:18765589>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2008-0995...
, Ruprechter et al. 2018Ruprechter G., Adrien M.L., Larriestra A., Meotti O., Batista C., Meikle A. & Noro M. 2018. Metabolic predictors of peri-partum diseases and their association with parity in dairy cows. Res. Vet. Sci. 118:191-198. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2018.02.005> <PMid:29518709>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2018.02.0...
). The concentrations of BUN, in turn, vary according to dietary protein and energy levels (Cavestany et al. 2005Cavestany D., Blanc J.E., Kulcsar M., Uriarte G., Chilibroste P., Meikle A., Febel H., Ferraris A. & Kral E. 2005. Studies of the transition cow under a pasture-based milk production system: metabolic profiles. J. Vet. Med. A 52(1):1-7. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0442.2004.00679.x> <PMid:15703003>
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0442.2004...
), and the synthesis of urea in the liver may be decreased due to the presence of various inflammatory processes at the beginning of lactation, which compromise liver functions (Bertoni et al. 2008Bertoni G., Trevisi E., Han X. & Bionaz M. 2008. Effects of inflammatory conditions on liver activity in puerperium period and consequences for performance in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 91(9):3300-3310. <https://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2008-0995> <PMid:18765589>
https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2008-0995...
). Therefore, the inflammatory nature of the injuries seen in the hooves could explain the results for Alb and BUN. Impaired liver function, if present, can be considered mild in the studied cows and was not accompanied by increased AST activity.

Regarding minerals, SCH at calving was the main imbalance observed in the studied cows and was associated with lameness at 60 DIM, but not at 7 DIM. We are unaware of other studies on the subject that can be compared. The biological importance of the observed relationship can be considered doubtful, since hypocalcemia is a transient imbalance close to calving, while the frequencies of lameness and hoof injuries gradually increase up to 60 days after calving. The concentrations of Ca and Mg were slightly lower in cows with lameness. Normally serum calcium is linked to protein, especially albumin, which can influence the total calcium serum concentration (Goff 2014Goff J.P. 2014. Calcium and magnesium disorders. Vet. Clin. N. Am., Food Anim. Pract. 30(2):359-382. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2014.04.003> <PMid:24980727>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2014.04.0...
) and could explain our results since lame cows also had lower Alb concentrations, just as previously reported (Paiano et al. 2019Paiano R.B., Birgel D.B., Ollhoff R.D. & Birgel Junior E.H. 2019. Biochemical profile and productive performance in dairy cows with lameness during postpartum period. Acta Scient. Vet. 47:1673. <https://dx.doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775>
https://doi.org/10.22456/1679-9216.93775...
). There are no other studies that have investigated Ca, Mg or P values in cows with lameness or hoof injuries. However, in Holstein × Gir cows, serum Ca and Mg showed a positive correlation with hoof hardness and growth at the beginning of lactation, while serum P showed a negative correlation with hoof hardness (Casagrande 2013Casagrande F.P. 2013. Perfil metabólico e mineral de vacas no período peri-parto: qualidade e conformação dos cascos. Tese de Doutorado, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte. 148p.). Ca and Mg participate in the synthesis of keratin, and the deficiencies of these minerals decrease the quality of the hoof (Greenough 2007bGreenough P.R. 2007b. Nutritional risk factors, p.55-69. In: Ibid. (Ed.), Bovine Laminitis and Lameness. Saunders Elsevier, Edinburgh. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-7020-2780-2.50009-4>
https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-7020-2780...
), which can result in a greater presentation of injuries and lameness. Despite the transient SCH, the studied cows maintained physiological serum values of Ca, P and Mg and ingested sufficient amounts of these minerals, indicating that they were balanced.

Based on the pH values of the rumen fluid, it was shown that the studied cows did not present subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA), considered a primary cause of laminitis (Greenough 2007aGreenough P.R. 2007a. The laminitis syndrome, p.36-54. In: Ibid. (Ed.), Bovine Laminitis and Lameness. Saunders Elsevier, Edinburgh. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-7020-2780-2.50008-2>
https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-7020-2780...
). A pH value ≤5.9 confirms the diagnosis of SARA when the ruminal fluid is obtained through an oro-ruminal tube (Abdela 2016Abdela N. 2016. Sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA) and its consequence in dairy cattle: a review of past and recent research at global prospective. Achiev. Life Sci. 10(2):187-196. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.als.2016.11.006>
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.als.2016.11.00...
). Although lame cows had a lower pH than non-lame cows, rumen fermentation disorder must be ruled out as a factor influencing the results.

This is one of the few studies that investigated the relationship between the metabolic profile and the occurrence of lameness or hoof injury, being the first with Holstein × Gir cows, a breed suitable for tropical countries with high milk yield capacity. The variations in the metabolites throughout the prepartum transition period and the beginning of lactation were compatible with those already reported in Holstein (Cavestany et al. 2005Cavestany D., Blanc J.E., Kulcsar M., Uriarte G., Chilibroste P., Meikle A., Febel H., Ferraris A. & Kral E. 2005. Studies of the transition cow under a pasture-based milk production system: metabolic profiles. J. Vet. Med. A 52(1):1-7. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0442.2004.00679.x> <PMid:15703003>
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0442.2004...
) and Holstein × Gir (Moreira et al. 2015Moreira T.F., Facury Filho E.J., Meneses R.M., Mendonça F.L.M., Lima J.A.M. & Carvalho A.U. 2015. Energetic status of crossbreed dairy cows during transition period in two different seasons. Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec. 67(5):1327-1334. <https://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1678-4162-8287>
https://doi.org/10.1590/1678-4162-8287...
) cows, which indicates that the studied cows remained reasonably balanced. Despite this, and although the majority of lameness cases were mild, the excessive loss of BCS after calving can contribute to the occurrence of lameness and hoof injuries at the beginning of lactation. Well-nourished cows with mild to moderate lameness may maintain a metabolic profile with little difference from cows without lameness. Further studies are needed to clarify whether there is a relationship between moderate to severe lameness and marked metabolic changes in high-yielding Holstein × Gir cows.

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the “Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico” for the Dairy Production Chain and the Brazilian National Counsel of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq/INCT-Leite; 465725/2014-7), and PROEX/CAPES (1959/2015) for financial support, and the Study Scholarship Program PAEC OEA-GCUB Brazil. J.A.N Lisbôa is recipient of CNPQ fellowship.

References

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    » https://doi.org/10.1016/j.als.2016.11.006
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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    17 Oct 2022
  • Date of issue
    2022

History

  • Received
    08 June 2022
  • Accepted
    17 July 2022
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