Influence of litter size on the hematologic profile of Awassi ewes during gestation and lactation

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Ahmed Fadel Kadhem
Tahreer Mohammed Al-Thuwaini


Physiological status and litter size affect ewes' hematological parameters, which serve as health indicators. These parameters reflect changes in an animal's physiological condition. Therefore, this study examined the hematological profiles of Awassi ewes with single and twin pregnancies during pregnancy and postpartum. A total of 232 sexually mature and healthy ewes (123 with single pregnancies and 109 with twin pregnancies) between the ages of 3 and 4 years were included in the current study. The sheep's blood was collected and hematological tests were conducted immediately on the samples. Results revealed variation in hematological parameters between ewes during pregnancy based on litter size. Twin-pregnant ewes had significantly higher amounts of RBC, PCV %, MCH, and MCHC during pregnancy months as compared to single-pregnant ewes. Compared to single pregnancies, Awassi ewes with twin pregnancies had higher leukocytes, lymphocytes, granulocytes, lymphocytes %, and granulocytes % than those with a singleton. Logistic regression confirmed that litter size contributes to the increase in hematological parameters. In conclusion, Awassi ewes with twin pregnancies exhibited an increase in the counts of leukocytes and erythrocytes constituents. This study provided valuable information about the association of twin-pregnant ewes with hematological parameters that could be used in sheep breeding and reproduction to improve diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment in the field.


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Fadel Kadhem, A. ., & Al-Thuwaini, T. M. . (2022). Influence of litter size on the hematologic profile of Awassi ewes during gestation and lactation: Veterinary Integrative Sciences, 20(3), 625–633. Retrieved from
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