Hematologic analysis provides reliable information on the health status of animals. It is an important variable in the assessment of adaptive and productive capacity of breeds under unfavorable environmental conditions. It is an assessment that combined with other genetic and environmental factors and management can become useful for the future sustainability of mainstream agriculture in a hot environment. Adaptive capacity is affected by some factors such as breed, pregnancy and lactation. Therefore, hematological profile is an important indicator of animal health and production. The objective of this study was to perform the comparative hematological analysis of Santa Inês and Morada Nova breeds (native ewes from Brazil) in all different reproductive stages. Twenty Santa Ines and 20 Morada Nova sheep distributed in a completely randomized design in a split-plot arrangement over time were used. To obtain blood counts, blood samples were collected by jugular venipuncture every 14 days, always in the morning, before the animals were released into the pasture. The Morada Nova breed had higher hemoglobin and total leukocyte count than Santa Inês breed. Regarding the influence of pregnancy and puerperium on the eritrogram, there was an increment in red blood cell, hemoglobin and packed cell volume of both breeds in middle pregnancy. However, had a reduction in late pregnancy. There were a reestablishment of the blood cell counts during the puerperium period. It was verified an increase on neutrophil: lymphocyte ratio indicated that ewes in the late pregnancy, postpartum and puerperium were under stress conditions compared to others reproductive stages. The total plasma proteins also increased during this period to compensate for the high nutritional requirements of the fetus, and these levels remained high until the end of the puerperal phase, when the lambs were weaned. The pregnancy and puerperium influenced all erythrocyte indices and changed the total leukocyte count.
Hematological analysis; Morada Nova ewes; Santa Inês ewes; reproductive stages; hemoglobin; indigenous sheep; leukocyte count; parturition.