Use and Interpretation of Pooled Metabolic Profiles for Evaluating Transition Cow Health Status


  • Robert J. Van Saun Department of Veterinary Science, College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802



blood metabolite concentration, pooled sample, metabolic profiles, herd health


Use of metabolic profiles for evaluating herd nutritional or health status has not been widely accepted in the United States. Costs associated with metabolic profiling have been a primary deterrent, as well as interpretation. In a traditional profile protocol eight to 12 individuals are sampled within a herd or animal group for evaluation. Profile results are then interpreted as a mean value or percent of individuals deviating from some defined values. Use of pooled samples was evaluated as a method to collect usable information on herd metabolic status without the high cost of individual sampling. Objectives of this study were to determine if blood metabolite concentrations from pooled serum samples were different from arithmetic mean results of individual samples, and to develop preliminary guidelines for interpretation of pooled samples.






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