Seasonal variations in hematological profile of Holstein dairy cows as an indicator for physiological status assessment

M. Mekroud1, N. Arzour-Lakehal1, N.A. Ouchene-Khelifi1,2, N. Ouchene1,2*, A. Titi1, A. Mekroud1

1PADESCA laboratory, Institute of Veterinary Sciences, Road of Guelma 25100 El Khroub, University of Mentouri Brothers, Constantine 1, Algeria
2 Institute of Veterinary Sciences, University of Saad Dahlab Blida 1, Road of Soumaa, BP 270, 09000, Blida, Algeria

(Manuscript received 1 July 2020; accepted for publication 25 January 2021)

Abstract. This study aims to investigate, for the first time in Algeria, the effect of seasonal climatic changes on the hematological profile of Holstein dairy cows as an indicator for their physiological status assessment. The study was conducted between November 2018 and October 2019 and was performed on a lot of 14 dairy cows. Blood samples were collected quarterly during this study period. The data regarding seasonal changes in hematological parameters were not significant concerning red blood cell count (RBC), hemoglobin concentration (Hb) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV). However, variations were significant for hematocrit (HCT), mean corpuscular hemoglobin content (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and blood platelets (PLT). The percentage of HCT was higher in autumn (27.99%) and spring (28.58%) compared to winter (26.52%) and summer (26.75%), (p<0.05). MCH, MCHC and PLT levels were higher in summer compared to the other seasons (p<0.05), (p<0.01) and (p<0.001), respectively. The highest number of WBC was generally observed in summer and autumn and the lowest in winter and spring (p<0.01). The ratio neutrophils/lymphocytes (N:L) was equal to 1.01, 0.79, 0.98 and 0.89 in autumn, winter, spring and summer, respectively of which this difference was not significant. This study might be helpful for providing base line information on the hematological profile of dairy cattle for the evaluation of physiological status.