The differential leucocyte count, total eosinophil count, blood sugar, plasma
sodium, potassium, calcium, inorganic phosphorus and haemoglobin concentrations
of the blood of 18 normal and 11 habitual aborter Angora does were studied during
pregnancy. The results were compared with the existing information on the goat.
It was found that the percentage lymphocytes of the normal does increased during
gestation with a concomitant decrease in neutrophils, eosinophils and plasma
potassium and an increase of plasma sodium and blood glucose values. These
variations in the normal constituents of the blood and plasma were attributed to the
influence of the hormones of the adrenal cortex, which exhibited maximal function
in the parturient female. A decline of adrenal function after 13 weeks gestation
appeared to precede parturient elevation. It thus appears that the pre-partum decline
of adrenal function occurs earlier in gestation of the goat than the drop of cortisol
levels demonstrated 14 days pre-partum in sheep.
Significant differences in the haematology between aborter does and the controls
were observed. The percentage neutrophils was found to be higher and the
lymphocytes and eosinophils lower than the controls at all stages of gestation.
Similarly the values for blood glucose and plasma sodium were higher and plasma
potassium lower than the corresponding values of the normal doe. These differences
support the concept that adrenal hyperfunction may be intimately associated with
gestational failure in goats, and these procedures can be useful in detecting animals
liable to abort.