Copper status in breeding and racing camels (Camelus dromedarius) and response to cupric oxide needle capsules

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Abstract

Copper was determined in the blood of breeding camels, camel calves and racing camels to evaluate copper status in these animals in UAE. Low blood copper concentrations were reported in newly born camel calves (100%) and calves 2-4 months old (68%), breeding camels at early (55.6%) and at mid lactation (48%) and at late pregnancy (69%). This is attributed to the low copper and high sulfate in the Rhodes grass which is the only diet offered to the breeding camels. On the other hand only 9.7% of racing camels showed low copper levels. This is because copper is routinely offered to racing camels when their blood copper is low. Cupric oxide needle capsules orally administered at the rate of 8 g per adult camel was effective in elevating blood copper from 7.083 μmol/L at day zero to 10.074 μmol/L at day 28 after dosing.

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