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The liver performs many critical functions and is the main source for the production of yolk lipids. The fat content of the liver normally rises with the initiation of egg production, which causes a colour change from dark brown to yellow brown. However, excessive accumulation of fat can sometimes occur in the liver, which will cause liver damage. This is also known as Fatty Liver Haemorrhagic Syndrome (FLHS). Affected flocks generally encounter a drop in egg production, in combination with an increased mortality.

Combination test for Fatty Liver: Colour check and TG test

The Fatty Liver Combination test was developed because colour changes in the liver are not automatically a sign of early stages of fatty liver. Thanks to the colour check, you can easily distinguish between a normal liver and a FLHS liver and can implement treatment, if necessary. If the liver does not show early stages of FLHS, the flock health won’t improve from a preventative treatment against fatty liver. Between a normal situation and FLHS, there is a progression with a subclinical phase, within which preventative treatment can be implemented to stop development towards FLHS. After research, GD is able to determine the reference range for each phase, based on the colour of the liver and the TG level. The intermediate colour could indicate the progression of the subclinical phase. In such cases, a further diagnostic work-up, for other disorders which may cause an abnormal liver colour, is advised.
Thanks to this Fatty Liver Combination test, you and your regular advisers can determine the right approach for your flock at an early stage.

The colour check has 3 classifications:
1) Normal liver: No excessive accumulation of fat, treatment aimed at fatty liver is not necessary.
2) Risk group liver: Do the TG test to determine whether your flock has early stage FLHS and whether treatment for fatty liver is useful.
3) Liver damage due to fatty accumlation (FLHS): Your flock requiers treatment.

How does it work?

Place the colour chart on the liver (making sure the liver is easily visible through the holes in the card) and check which colour matches best. Then check the results to see what action must be taken.

Testing is simple

Here you’ll find the submission form poultry samples which can be used to request TG testing. Send a pool of maximum five frozen livers (without gallbladder) with this form to GD Animal Health, and you’ll receive the fatty liver status based on the TG test in your flock. This allows you to implement specific treatment for
fatty liver or choose to perform a diagnostic work-up by your veterinarian to determine the cause of the animals’ deviating liver colour.

Want to find out more?

Would you like to know more about the fatty liver combination test, based on the colour check and our TG test? Please contact the Poultry Monitoring Department of GD Animal Health: 0031 (0) 570 63 33 91 or info@gdanimalhealth.com.

 

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