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Short communication: The effect of calcium supplementation at calving on neutrophil function

Miltenburg, Cynthia L., Duffield, Todd F., Bienzle, Dorothee, Scholtz, Elizabeth L., LeBlanc, Stephen J.
Journal of dairy science 2018 v.101 no.10 pp. 9505-9509
blood sampling, blood serum, calcium, calcium gluconate, calving, cows, farms, lactation number, neutrophils, phagocytosis, risk factors
Low total blood calcium concentration after calving has been demonstrated to be a risk factor for reduced neutrophil function. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether administration of an injectable calcium supplement product soon after calving increased neutrophil oxidative burst or phagocytosis capacity. Cows (n = 27) from 4 farms were blocked by parity and randomly assigned to receive either calcium gluconate (35% wt/vol) in combination with calcium glucoheptonate (10% wt/vol; Theracalcium, Vétoquinol Canada Inc., Lavaltrie, Quebec, Canada) or a placebo within 12 h after calving and again 24 h later. Each dose of 120 mL was injected subcutaneously over 2 sites. Total serum calcium concentration, neutrophil oxidative burst, and neutrophil phagocytosis capacity were measured from coccygeal blood samples before (time 0) and 72 h after first treatment. There was no difference between treatment groups in lactation number, total calcium concentration, oxidative burst, or phagocytosis at time of enrollment. There was no effect of treatment on oxidative burst or phagocytosis by neutrophils. This preliminary study does not support an effect of supplemental calcium to improve neutrophil oxidative burst or phagocytosis capacity of low-parity parturient cows.