Dose response effects of long-acting injectable vitamin B12 plus selenium (Se) on the vitamin B12 and Se status of ewes and their lambs.N Z Vet J. 2006 Apr; 54(2):67-72.NZ
To determine the effect of increasing doses of long-acting injectable vitamin B12 plus selenium (Se) given pre-mating on the vitamin B12 and Se status of ewes and their lambs from birth to weaning.
Four groups of 24 Poll Dorset ewes each were injected 4 weeks pre-mating with different doses of a long-acting vitamin B12 + Se product, containing 3 mg vitamin B12 and 12 mg Se per ml. The treatment groups received 5 ml (15 mg vitamin B12 + 60 mg Se), 4 ml (12 mg vitamin B12 + 48 mg Se), 3 ml (9 mg vitamin B12 + 36 mg Se), or no vitamin B12 or Se (control). Twelve of the twin-bearing ewes per group were selected for the study. Efficacy of the product was evaluated from changes in the concentrations of vitamin B12 in serum and liver, and of Se in blood, liver and milk in the ewes during gestation and lactation, and in their lambs from birth to weaning. Pasture samples in paddocks grazed by the ewes and lambs were collected at about 2-monthly intervals from 200-m transects.
The flock was Se-deficient, as the mean initial concentration of Se in the blood of ewes was 182 (SE 20.3) nmol/L. Compared with untreated controls, all doses significantly (p < 0.01) increased concentrations of Se in the blood of ewes for at least 300 days. Selenium concentrations in milk were likewise increased throughout lactation, as were those in the blood and liver of lambs. The mean concentration of vitamin B12 in the serum of ewes was initially > 1,000 pmol/L, but this decreased within 28 days to < 460 pmol/L. Treatment with the 5-ml and 4-ml doses raised serum vitamin B12 concentrations of ewes for at least 176 days (p < 0.01), while their lambs had significantly greater concentrations of vitamin B12 in serum and liver for less than 37 days after birth. Tissue concentrations and duration of elevation of both vitamin B12 and Se were proportional to the dose administered. The mean concentrations of Se and cobalt (Co) in the pastures were 32 and 74 microg/kg dry matter (DM), respectively.
Injecting ewes from a Se-deficient flock 4 weeks prior to mating with 48 or 60 mg Se and 12 or 15 mg vitamin B12 increased and maintained the Se status of ewes for at least 300 days, and of their lambs from birth to weaning. The vitamin B12 status of ewes was increased for at least 176 days and that of their lambs for less than 37 days. Due to the proportional nature of the response to increasing dosage, the dose rate of the formulation tested can be adjusted according to the severity of Se and Co deficiency in a flock.
A single subcutaneous injection of vitamin B12 + Se administered pre-mating to Se-deficient flocks is likely to prevent Se deficiency in ewes and their lambs until weaning, as well as increase the vitamin B12 status of ewes and their lambs until 5 weeks after lambing.