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1.  Plasma Vitamin E and Blood Selenium Concentrations in Norwegian Dairy Cows: Regional Differences and Relations to Feeding and Health 
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica  2005;46(4):177-191.
Plasma α-tocopherol (vit E) and blood selenium (Se) concentrations in February were determined in samples from 314 dairy cows in Norway, selected to provide a representative subset of the Norwegian dairy cow population. Each sample was followed by a questionnaire with information about feeding of the cow at the time of sampling. The results were correlated to herd data and to calving and health data for each cow from the Norwegian Dairy Herd Recording System and the Norwegian Cattle Health Recording System. The mean concentrations were 6.9 μg vit E per ml plasma and 0.16 μg Se per g blood. Both levels were highest in mid lactation. Plasma vit E varied with the amount of silage fed to the cow, while blood Se varied with the amount of concentrates and mineral supplements, and with geographical region. No differences in vit E or Se levels were found between cows with recorded treatments for mastitis, parturient paresis or reproductive disorders in the lactation during or immediately prior to sampling, and those without such treatments. For ketosis, a small difference in blood Se was found between the groups with or without recorded treatments. It is concluded that winter-fed lactating cows in Norway had an adequate plasma level of vit E and a marginal-to-adequate level of Se.
PMCID: PMC1618972  PMID: 16398330
Vitamin E; selenium; dairy cows; feeding; health; mastitis; reproduction; Norway
2.  Lameness and Claw Lesions of the Norwegian Red Dairy Cattle Housed in Free Stalls in Relation to Environment, Parity and Stage of Lactation 
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica  2005;46(4):203-217.
Approximately 88% of Norwegian dairy cattle are housed in tie stalls. Free stall housing for all dairy cattle will be implemented within 20 years. This means that the majority of existing stalls will be rebuilt in the near future. Fifty-seven free stall herds of the Norwegian Red breed were randomly selected and 1547 cows and 403 heifers were trimmed by 13 claw trimmers during the late winter and spring of 2002. The claw trimmers had been taught diagnosing and recording of claw lesions. Environment, management- and feeding routines were also recorded. Fifty-three herds had concrete slatted alleys while 4 had solid concrete. Thirty-five herds had concrete as a stall base, while 17 had rubber mats, 2 had wood and 3 had deep litter straw beds. The prevalence of lameness was 1.6% in hind claws. Models for lameness and claw lesions were designed to estimate the influence of different risk factors and to account for the cluster effects within herd and claw trimmer. Detected risk factors for lameness were: parity three and above and narrow cubicles; for heel horn erosions: lactation stage around 5–7 months after calving and solid concrete alleys; for haemorrhages of the white line: lactation stage around 3–5 months after calving and solid concrete alleys; for haemorrhages of the sole: parity one, lactation stage around 5–7 months after calving and short cubicles, for white line fissures: slatted concrete alleys; for asymmetrical claws: parities two and above and for corkscrewed claws: solid concrete alleys. The prevalence of lameness in heifers was low, however 29% had one or more claw lesions. Heifers that were housed in pens or free stalls had more heel-horn erosions, haemorrhages of the sole and white-line fissures than heifers in tie stalls. As new free stalls are being built, it is important to optimise the conditions for claw health.
PMCID: PMC1618970  PMID: 16398332
Claw lesions; free stalls; housing; environment; management; parity; stage of lactation
3.  Blood Selenium Associated with Health and Fertility in Norwegian Dairy Herds 
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica  2005;46(4):229-240.
A survey of blood selenium (Se) concentrations in Norwegian Red heifers and dry period cows was conducted to reveal possible association to management, feeding, health and fertility. Selenium contents were determined in 254 herd blood samples consisting of pooled samples from individual non-lactating animals from herds in 5 counties. The Se concentrations showed a normal distribution with mean 0.09 μg Se/g blood, with a standard deviation (SD) of 0.05, and ranged from 0.02 to 0.23 μg/g, with 50 % of the samples being between 0.06 and 0.11 μg/g. The herds with Se concentrations below 0.06 μg/g were smaller (21.4 ± 8.7 cow-years) than those with Se levels above 0.11 μg/g (27.5 ± 14.1 cow-years) (P < 0.01), but there were no differences in milk yield, incidence of replacement, proportion of animal culling, amount of concentrate or grass silage as percentage of energy consumption between the groups. Treatment registration records showed a tendency that more animals in the low Se herds were treated for all the diseases included in this investigation (64.8 animals per 100 cow-years) than those in the high Se herds (57.5 per 100 cow-years), while no such differences were revealed for individual disorders. There was, however, a significant difference in bulk milk somatic cell counts (BMSCC) between low and high Se herds, their values being 137 000 and 155 000 cells/ml, respectively. This difference was significantly influenced by herd size. Furthermore, a total of 4 916 lactations were analyzed from individual health and fertility recordings, including 2 934 first lactations and 1 982 later lactations. The present study revealed a reduced incidence of disease treatment with increased Se concentrations from 0.02 to 0.23 μg Se/g blood. In this regard, there seemed to be an optimum of 0.10 to 0.15 μg Se/g for all types of mastitis treatments summarized, and for treatment of retained placenta. Thus, herd Se concentrations below and above these values was connected with increased probability for sum mastitis and retained placenta, reflecting the effect of the quadratic term of Se. The cow (composite) milk somatic cell count (SCC) was lower in lactations from low Se herds than in high Se herds with a marked SCC increase in the Se concentration interval from 0.11–0.13 μg/g blood. In conclusion, heifers and dry period cows in Norway are low in blood Se content and there seems to be a positive association between increased blood Se concentration pre partum and decreased incidence of mastitis, ovarian cysts and anoestrus/silent oestrus post partum.
PMCID: PMC1618966  PMID: 16398334
Selenium; dairy cattle; management; mastitis; fertility
4.  Cumulative Risk of Bovine Mastitis Treatments in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden 
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica  2004;45(4):201-210.
Data from the national dairy cow recording systems during 1997 were used to calculate lactation-specific cumulative risk of mastitis treatments and cumulative risk of removal from the herds in Denmark, Finland Norway and Sweden. Sweden had the lowest risk of recorded mastitis treatments during 305 days of lactation and Norway had the highest risk. The incidence risk of recorded mastitis treatments during 305 days of lactation in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden was 0.177, 0.139, 0.215 and 0.127 for first parity cows and 0.228, 0.215, 0.358 and 0.204 for parities higher than three, respectively. The risk of a first parity cow being treated for mastitis was almost 3 times higher at calving in Norway than in Sweden. The period with the highest risk for mastitis treatments was from 2 days before calving until 14 days after calving and the highest risk for removal was from calving to 10 days after calving in all countries.
The study clearly demonstrated differences in bovine mastitis treatment patterns among the Nordic countries. The most important findings were the differences in treatment risks during different lactations within each country, as well as differences in strategies with respect to the time during lactation mastitis was treated.
PMCID: PMC1820994  PMID: 15663080
Data recording; mastitis treatment; Nordic countries; dairy herds; cumulative incidence risk; culling

Results 1-4 (4)