Clinical parameters, intestinal function, and IGF1 concentrations in colostrum-deprived and colostrum-fed newborn pony foals.

Palm, F.; Nagel, C.; Bruckmaier, Rupert; Aurich, J. E.; Aurich, C. (2013). Clinical parameters, intestinal function, and IGF1 concentrations in colostrum-deprived and colostrum-fed newborn pony foals. Theriogenology, 80(9), pp. 1045-1051. Butterworths 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2013.08.002

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Colostrum (COL) contains cytokines and growth factors that may enhance intestinal development in neonates. The hypothesis of this study was that besides providing immunoglobulins, COL is important for intestinal function and meconium release in foals. Newborn foals were either fed COL (n = 5) or an equal amount of milk replacer (MR, n = 7) during the first 24 hours of life. To ensure passive immunity, all foals received 1 L plasma. Postnatal development, meconium release, intestinal motility, white blood cell count, insulin-like growth factor 1, and intestinal absorptive function (xylose absorption test) were evaluated. Clinical findings and meconium release were not affected by feeding of COL or MR. Ultrasonography revealed a slightly larger jejunum and stomach in group COL versus MR (P < 0.05). The percentage of polymorphonuclear leucocytes was higher in foals of group MR versus group COL (P < 0.05) and the percentage of lymphocytes was lower in MR compared with COL foals (P < 0.05). Plasma insulin-like growth factor 1 concentration increased during the first 14 days after birth in both groups. A xylose absorption test on Day 5 revealed similar increases in plasma xylose concentrations after oral intake. In conclusion, feeding of COL versus MR was without effect on meconium release and intestinal absorptive function. Differences between foals fed COL and MR with regard to intestinal function are apparently without clinical relevance. In foals that have not received maternal COL, there is no major risk of intestinal problems if they are fed MR and provided with immunoglobulins by transfusion of plasma.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Physiology

UniBE Contributor:

Bruckmaier, Rupert


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture






Susanne Portner

Date Deposited:

31 Jul 2014 13:23

Last Modified:

14 Oct 2015 11:15

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Colostrum, Foal, Intestine, Meconium




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