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Effect of Age, Sex and Altitude on the Normal Physiological and Biochemical Parameters in Apparently Healthy Local Breed Sheep in Shebedino District in Sidam Zone, Ethiopia

Author(s): G Aynalem Gemechu, L Kibeb

A cross sectional study was conducted from September 2009 to June 2010 in sheep in Shebedino district Sidama zone in order to obtain base line information concerning the normal physiological and serum biochemical parameters, to identify the influences of age, sex and altitude on clinical and serum biochemical parameters in apparently healthy local breed sheep. In veterinary medicine, physiological and biochemical examinations present an effective tool in monitoring the health and nutritional status of animals. Very little has been done to establish reference values and there is luck of information in this regard for local sheep breeds present in Sidama zone, Ethiopia. The physiological and biochemical parameters of local breed’s sheep were determined consisting of males (n=140) and females (n=260) with different age groups (1 to 3 yrs and above 3 to 6 yrs age) from two different altitudes (high and midland). A study was conducted to establish reference values of clinical and serum biochemical parameters in 400 apparently healthy indigenous Shebedino sheep breed. Clinical parameters such as temperature, respiratory and heart rates were routinely recorded. Blood samples were collected in plain vaccutainer and the serum was analyzed to determine total protein, urea, glucose, creatinine, serum enzymes and electrolytes. The study showed that the mean of physiological values of temperature in age categories (1 to 3 yrs age and above 3 yrs age) was significantly affected (P<0.05) whereas respiratory and pulse rate were not significance (P>0.05). Significant variation (P<0.05) was observed respiration rate for the two sex groups whereas rectal temperature and pulse rate were highly significance (P<0.05). The rectal temperature was highly significant (P<0.05) in the two altitudes whereas the plus rate was significant (P<0.05) in the two altitudes but the respiratory rate in to two altitude were not significant (P>0.05). In the serum biochemical value only urea was a significant difference (P<0.05) between the two age groups in the study area but the rest of biochemical parameters such as ALT, AST, ALP, protein, glucose, Na+1 , K+1 and creatinine were not significant difference (P>0.05). Even though, no significant associations (p>0.05) were observed in biochemical parameters in the two sex groups where as significant difference only the mean value of ALT, ALP and urea were higher in female than male. For the two different altitudes effects (highland and midland) in serum biochemical parameters only ALP and Na+1 were highly significant associated (P<0.05) whereas the level of K+1 was significant (p<0.05) in the two altitudes. The study was performed to evaluate the effect of age, sex and altitude on the normal physiological and blood biochemical values in apparently healthy local breed’s sheep. Therefore, this study has indicated physiological and serum biochemical values and could serve as a baseline information for comparison in conditions of nutrient deficiency, physiological and health status of sheep kept under native husbandry system in Sidama zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPRs) of Ethiopia.

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