Species: Cattle

Specimens: serum or (soil/ pasture)

Optimum number of animals to test for mob/herd/flock deficiency: 8-10

General information about the test: 

Serum phosphorus can be elevated by haemolysis, aging of the sample, azotaemia, enteric disease, milk fever and anorexia. Phosphorus deficiency is commonly seen in dairy cattle a month either side of calving and the usual signs are anaemia and haemoglobinuria.  This syndrome is called post parturient haemoglobinuria (PPH).  Deficiencies can occur under drought conditions and where pasture phosphates are low due to recent conversions from sheep farms where the requirements for phosphates are much lower.

Reference interval:  

Cattle – Adequate   >1.4 mmol/L

Note:  In PPH, anaemic cattle commonly have serum phosphorus levels <0.8 mmol/L