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Annals of Animal Science

The Journal of National Research Institute of Animal Production

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Factors Affecting the Hematological Parameters in Different Goat Breeds from Italy

Francesca Arfuso
  • Department of Veterinary Sciences, Polo Universitario Annunziata, University of Messina, 98168, Messina, Italy
/ Francesco Fazio
  • Department of Veterinary Sciences, Polo Universitario Annunziata, University of Messina, 98168, Messina, Italy
/ Maria Rizzo
  • Department of Veterinary Sciences, Polo Universitario Annunziata, University of Messina, 98168, Messina, Italy
/ Simona Marafioti
  • Department of Veterinary Sciences, Polo Universitario Annunziata, University of Messina, 98168, Messina, Italy
/ Elisa Zanghì
  • Department of Veterinary Sciences, Polo Universitario Annunziata, University of Messina, 98168, Messina, Italy
/ Giuseppe Piccione
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Veterinary Sciences, Polo Universitario Annunziata, University of Messina, 98168, Messina, Italy
  • Email:
Published Online: 2016-08-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/aoas-2015-0094


Hematological parameters in healthy goats show several variations in relation to breed, age, reproductive status, environmental factors and management conditions. Therefore, there is the need to investigate these factors and how they affect the animal’s hematology. The aims of this study were to establish hematological reference values of five Italian goat breeds at different age classes (1–2, 3–4 and over 5 years) considered in autumn and to evaluate the effects of some factors (breed, age and environmental conditions). Ninety-six dried female Aspromontana goats, 102 Girgentana goats, 99 Messinese goats, 96 Maltese goats and 108 Argentata dell’Etna goats, clinically healthy, were used. Blood samples were collected from each animal and analyzed for Red Blood Cell (RBC), White Blood Cell (WBC), Hemoglobin concentration (Hb), Hematocrit (Hct), Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV), Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH), Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) and Platelets (PLT). Statistical analysis showed the effect of breed (P<0.05) on all studied parameters and the effect of age (P<0.05) on: RBC and Hb in Messinese goats; Hct in Girgentana, Maltese and Argentata dell’Etna goats; MCV and MCHC in Argentata dell’Etna goats; WBC in Aspromontana goats; and PLT in Girgentana and Messinese goats. The findings of the present study may serve as reference values for hematology of Italian goat breeds studied in autumn which could help veterinarians to interpret laboratory data appropriately and to monitor animal health status in order to improve the management and conservation of these breeds.

Keywords: goats; age; breed; hematological parameters; reference intervals


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About the article

Received: 2015-07-14

Accepted: 2016-01-12

Published Online: 2016-08-02

Published in Print: 2016-07-01

Citation Information: Annals of Animal Science, ISSN (Online) 2300-8733, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/aoas-2015-0094.

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© 2016 Francesca Arfuso et al., published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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