Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The neonatal anemia of rats, swine and humans is a common physiological phenomenon. The progression of the anemia is subjected to wide individual variation and usually progresses inversely to the dam's nutrition. The neonate's nutrition also inversely alters the anemic period. The neonatal anemia does not become apparent until three to five days postpartum. The neonate demonstrates a fast-growing period following parturition with only small storage iron reserves available for the developing tissues. Consequently, there is a decrease in iron availability for normal hemoglobin synthesis and mature erythrocyte formation. The anemic neonate becomes more susceptible to disease which may terminate in death. If the neonate survives the anemic period, there is a gradual return towards normal. The economic considerations concern commercial livestock growers; however, the health of human life is manifested as well. Decreased packed cell volume and hemoglobin concentration found in neonatal anemia indicate inadequate erythropoietic response and hemoglobin synthesis. The delayed anemic symptoms may result from maternal placental transport of hemoglobin precursors and erythropoietic stimuli to the fetus. The resulting hemogram deficiencies may possibly be alleviated by prepartum maternal treatment and/or postpartum neonate treatment. Postpartum neonatal treatments may add stresses upon the newborn, thus enhancing the anemic condition. The primary chemical substance concerned with iron incorporation into the erythron and hemoglobin synthesis is the not yet fully characterized hormone, erythropoietin. Several chemicals are being evaluated at the present which may successfully enhance the neonatal hemogram parameters. Dibenzyline, a promising drug, elicits serum iron level changes and atropine increases gastrointestinal iron absorption. The experimental study objectives were to observe selected hemogram parameters in pregnant rabbits and fetuses following prepartum treatments of atropine, dibenzyline and injectable iron dextran.

Library of Congress Subject Headings



Rabbits -- Physiology



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University