Post-parturient haemoglobinuria (pph) in cattle and buffaloes
The post-parturient haemoglobinuria (PPH) is an acute disease of high yielding buffaloes and cows. The disease occurs immediately after parturition and characterized by rapid intra vascular, haemolysis, anaemia, haemoglobinuria weakness, marked decrease in milk production and death in untreated cases.
Aetiology: The disease is associated usually with dietary phosphorus deficiency, and occasionally due to feeding of cruciferous plants. It may also be related to copper and selenium content in the diet. High yielding cows and buffaloes in their third lactation are most commonly affected, particularly after 2-5 week of calving. Exposure to extremely cold weather and ingestion of cold water may precipitate haemoglobinuria. The disease is more commonly recorded in buffaloes, which are reared in rural areas.
Clinical findings: There is sudden onset of haemoglobinuria, (red or coffee coloured urine) inappetance, weakness and severe reduction in milk yield. Animal becomes dehydrated. Faeces are dry and scantly. Dyspnoea, Moderate rise in temperature may be present in cows but seldom seen in buffaloes. The jaundice is seen in late state and animal becomes progressively weak and recumbent. Case fatality rate is 10-30% in cows and 50-60% in buffaloes.
Diagnosis: Clinical signs of dark urine and anaemia are suggestive of PPH. The disease needs to be differentiated from leptospirosis, water or salt poisoning, chronic copper intoxication and Brassica and onion intoxication, which are associated with haemoglibinuria. Occurrence of these conditions is not confined to post calving period. Presence of leptospiral organism in urine indicates leptospirosis, laboratory tests on blood, feed and fodder should be performed to find status of phosphorous, and presence of haemolytic toxins. The serum inorganic phosphorous concentration in PPH is markedly reduced (0.5-3.0 mg/dl) as compared to normal level 4.0-7.0 mg/dl).
Treatment and Prevention: Transfusion of large quantity of whole blood (4-5 litre for a 450 kg cow or buffalo) is highly effective treatment. If there is hypocupraemia, intravenous copper glycinate (1.5 mg/kg body weight, maximum 500 mg dissolved in normal saline) or oral copper sulphate (5 g in drinking water) can be given. Intravenous sodium acid phosphate solution (60 g in 300 ml water) can check haemolysis. However, these products are not recommended in lactating animals. Correction of mineral imbalance and adequate provision of phosphorus in the diet are recommended to prevent occurrence of the disease. Ascorbic acid (7.5 g in 500 ml normal saline intravenously) along with mineral mixture is effective in treatment of PPH in buffaloes.