Caprine hepatic lipidosis induced through the intake of low levels of dietary cobalt

Eugene H. Johnson*, Khalid Al-Habsi, Evelyn Kaplan, Anandarajah Srikandakumar, Isam T. Kadim, Kanthi Annamalai, Rashid Al-Busaidy, Osman Mahgoub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Forty-one, 10-week-old newly weaned goats were randomly allocated into two groups, namely control (n=22) and treated (n=19). Kids in both groups were fed Rhodegrass hay ad libitum that contained <0.1 mg/kg DM cobalt and 150 g/day of a commercially prepared ruminant concentrate that contained approximately 0.12 mg/kg DM cobalt. This diet provided the minimum daily requirement of cobalt as specified for sheep. The treated goats were supplemented with bi-monthly subcutaneous injections of 2000 μg of hydroxycobalamin. All goats were weighed and blood samples collected monthly for haematological, clinical biochemical and serum vitamin B12 analysis. After a 10-month experimental period the goats were slaughtered. The control animals exhibited significantly (P<0.05) lower weight gains, and had dry scruffy hair coats. In addition, there was a decline in erythrocyte counts, mean haemoglobin, packed cell volume, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration. Controls also exhibited significantly (P<0.05) lower levels of total serum proteins and elevated levels of serum alkaline phosphatase compared to treated goats. Fourteen (63.6%) of the control goats developed pathology consistent with reported field cases of hepatic lipidosis associated with low liver levels of cobalt. Only one (5.3%) of the treated goats developed hepatic lipidosis. Contrary to previous reports that suggested that goats are less sensitive to low levels of dietary cobalt than sheep, it is apparent that this is not the case with Omani goats. This is the first report of the induction of hepatic lipidosis in goats due to feeding low levels of cobalt in their diet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004


  • Cobalt
  • Goats
  • Hepatic lipidosis
  • Liver
  • Vitamin B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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