Circulating mineral element concentrations in Sakiz crossbred lambs with pica disorder

Aytekin I., ONMAZ A. C. , Kalinbacak A., Aypak S. U. , Alp H.

REVUE DE MEDECINE VETERINAIRE, vol.161, no.7, pp.332-335, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 161 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Page Numbers: pp.332-335


The aims of this study were to determine the serum calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, cupper, zinc and iron concentrations in lambs with pica disorder, and to evaluate the efficiency of mineral preparation as treatment. The study was performed on 25 Sakiz crossbred lambs, 1-2 months old, whose 15 lambs exhibiting clinical signs for pica (soil eating, surface licking, wool-eating, weight loss, development retardation and a strong desire to eat non-food objects) and 10 were apparently healthy. Blood samples were taken for measuring serum concentrations of minerals and trace elements 5 days before and after treatment with a vitamin-mineral combination (Kalmina (R) VIL-SAN, 0.3 ml/kg, IV). Whereas serum Ca, Mg, P, Cu and Zn concentrations did not significantly differ between affected and healthy lambs, it was observed a marked decrease of iron concentration (P < 0.05) in all animals with pica. After Kalmina (R) injection, clinical signs of pica totally disappeared in 67% of diseased lambs (10/15) and a significant increase of P concentrations compared to initial values (P < 0.05) was observed associated with slight and not significant increases of serum Cu and Zn concentrations. The sideremia was also significantly enhanced (P < 0.05) but remained below control values, particularly in the 5 lambs which still presented an abnormal behaviour. Consequently, it was concluded that iron deficiency may play an important role for the aetiology of pica and the mineral element supplementation could be beneficial for the treatment of lambs with pica.