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A comparison of serum vitamin B12 and serum methylmalonic acid as diagnostic measures of cobalt status in cattle
  1. JE Paterson and
  2. A MacPherson
  1. East of Scotland College of Agriculture, Edinburgh.


In two trials an assessment was made of serum methylmalonic acid as a diagnostic criterion of cobalt status in housed cattle. Despite the small number of animals used the method showed some promise, and normal concentrations are tentatively suggested as being less than 2 mumole/litre, subclinically cobalt deficient 2 to 4 mumole/litre and cobalt-deficient greater than 4 mumole/litre. However, for assessing how cobalt status is likely to influence the rate of liveweight gain of cattle, measurements of both serum methylmalonic acid and vitamin B12 concentrations would appear to be better.

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