Veterinary Research Communications

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 251–260 | Cite as

Studies on the relationship between sway disease of bactrian camels and copper status in Gansu province

  • Liu Zong-Ping
  • Ma Zhuo
  • Zhang You-Jia


The clinical signs of camel sway disease in the Hexi Corridor of Gansu province were defined. The contents of eight minerals in soils, in forage and in the blood and hair of bactrian camels from this region were determined. The related blood indices were also measured. The concentration of molybdenum in soils and forage was 4.8±0.02 and 4.8±0.25 µg/g (dry matter), respectively, the copper to molybdenum ratio in the forage being only 1.3. The concentration of copper in blood and hair from the camels was 0.28±0.17 µg/ml and 3.50±1.00 µg/g, respectively. There was a hypochromic microcytic anaemia and a low level of ceruloplasmin in the blood. It is therefore suggested that sway disease of bactrian camels in this region is caused by secondary copper deficiency, mainly due to the high molybdenum content in soils and forage. The copper deficiency in the camels was aggravated during reproduction. Oral administration of copper sulphate can prevent and cure the disease.


bactrian camel copper molybdenum sway disease 



alkaline phosphatase


blood urea nitrogen








dry matter




haemoglobin concentration


lactate dehydrogenase


mean corpuscular haemoglobin content


mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration


mean corpuscular volume


packed cell volume


red blood cell count


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bohnenkamp, W. and Weser, U., 1976. Copper deficiency and erythrocuprein.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta,444, 396PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Brewer, N.R., 1987. Comparative metabolism of copper.Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association,190, 654–658PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Duan De-xian, 1989.Animal Internal Medicine, (Agricultural Press, Beijing), 344–346Google Scholar
  4. Fan Pu, 1986. A study on Mo-poisoning of farm cattle (II).Acta Agriculturae Universitatis Jiangxiensis,11, 8–14Google Scholar
  5. Li Guang-hui and He Pu-xiao, 1990.Diseases Caused by Trace Elements in Animals, (Anhui Science and Technology Press), 100–206Google Scholar
  6. Li Guang-yuan, 1987. Effect of selenium and vitamin C on the myocardial metabolism of lipids in the rat. In: G.F. Combs, J.E. Spallholz, O.A. Levander and J.E. Oldfield (eds),Selenium in Biology and Medicine, (AVI, New York), 805–813Google Scholar
  7. Li San-qiang, 1984. Copper deficiency and animal health.Chinese Journal of Veterinary Science and Technology,1, 36–39Google Scholar
  8. Salmela, S., Vuori, E. and Kilpio, J.O., 1981. The effect of washing procedures on trace element content of human hair.Analytica Chimica Acta,125, 131–137Google Scholar
  9. Shi Yan, 1990.Veterinary Clinical Diagnosis, (Agricultural Press, Beijing), 199–311Google Scholar
  10. Suttle, N.F., 1987. The nutritional requirement for copper in animals and man. In: J.M. Howell and J.M. Gawthorpe (eds),Copper in Animals and Man, vol.I (CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL), 21–39Google Scholar
  11. Thomson, G.G. and Lawson, B.M., 1970. Copper and selenium interaction in sheep.New Zealand Veterinary Journal,18, 79PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Wahbi, A.G.A., Abdelgadir, S.E., Awadelseid, N.A. and Idris, O.F., 1984. The plasma electrolytes and minerals of normal camels in the Sudan. In: Cockrill, W.R. (ed.),The Camelid. An All-Purpose Animal, (Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, Uppsala, Sweden), 431–437Google Scholar
  13. Wang Ji-gui, 1983.Examination of Clinical Biochemistry, (Hunan Science and Technology Press), 227–279Google Scholar
  14. Wang Kui, 1991.Trace Elements in Life Science, (Metrology Press, Beijing), 138–189Google Scholar
  15. Wang Zong-yuan, 1988. Diagnosis and surveillance of copper deficiency induced with molybdenum.Chinese Journal of Veterinary Medicine,14 (1), 5–8Google Scholar
  16. Williams, D.M., Lee, G.R. and Cartwright, G.E., 1974. Ferroxidase activity of rat ceruloplasmin.American Journal of Physiology,227, 1094PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Zhang Cai-jong, 1988. Determination of physiological and biochemical indexes in the bactrian camel.Journal of Qinhai Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine,1, 1–10Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers bv 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liu Zong-Ping
    • 1
  • Ma Zhuo
    • 1
  • Zhang You-Jia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary MedicineGansu Agricultural UniversityLanzhouPeople's Republic of China

Personalised recommendations