Poikilocytosis of Angora goats is associated with erythrocyte density and reticulocytosis
Keywords:Angora goat, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), poikilocytosis, reticulocytosis
Angora goats in South Africa experience several syndromes that result in notable morbidity and mortality in juveniles and adults, but not kids. Insight into their causes is hampered by the lack of normal reference values for this breed, and the present study therefore aimed to characterise (1) differences in the haematology of healthy kids at birth and weaning, and (2) the haematology of apparently healthy yearlings. Selected variables were measured by blood smear analysis, and complete blood counts were performed using an ADVIA 2120i. Variables at 1, 11, and 20 weeks of age were compared using the Friedman test and associations between variables of yearlings were determined by correlation analysis. In kids, red blood cell count, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), and poikilocytosis increased over time, while mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) decreased. Yearlings displayed a lower MCHC, and higher haemoglobin distribution width than previously reported for goats, and these were positively correlated with poikilocytosis, as were reticulocyte counts. White cell counts of yearlings exceeded normal values previously reported for goats, with some individuals displaying remarkably high mature neutrophil counts. Changes in haemoglobin variant expression or cation and water fluxes are possible explanations for the findings in kids, while in yearlings, the associations between MCHC, HDW, poikilocytosis, and reticulocytosis suggest alterations in red cell hydration in adulthood that are associated with increased red cell turnover. These findings may prove informative in the further investigation of various clinical syndromes in this population.