Successful treatment of hypogammaglobulinaemia in a camel calf (Camelus dromedarius) by maternal blood transfusion

02 Nov 2019

Dabiri, M., Agerholm, J. S., Talebkhan Garoussi, M.

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A well-functioning humoral immune response is critical for the immune function of neonatal camel calves. A two-week-old dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) calf was presented for examination. Leucocytosis and neutrophilia with a mild left shift and toxic changes were present. The plasma total protein (PTP) level was 4.32 g/dl, being consistent with failure of transfer of colostral immunoglobulins. Since commercial camel plasma was not available, whole blood (1 litre) was transferred intravenously from the dam to the calf. This was repeated three days later. The PTP had increased to 6.1 g/dl on the day after the second infusion. Blood transfusion from the dam to a calf with insufficient uptake of immunoglobulins increases the calf’s chance of survival. For veterinarians working in low-income or rural areas, blood transfusion should be considered an easy and cheap option in cases of insufficient uptake of immunoglobulins to save the life of the calf.