Colostrum is the first milk produced after birth. It is high in protein much of which is immunoglobulin. Immunoglobulins are a group of proteins with antibody activity that are produced in response to infection by micro-organisms.
The three main classes of immunoglobulins are Immunoglobulin A (IgA), Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and Immunoglobulin M (IgM). A few mammals such as rabbits, mice and humans are born with maternal transplacental IgG but not IgA or IgM. However most species are born devoid of immunity and must acquire their initial immunoglobulins from colostrum. For the immunoglobulins in colostrum to function as systemic antibodies they must first be absorbed from the intestine unaltered.
Colostrum contains other proteins such as, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase and lysozyme that have antibacterial activity. These proteins act to inhibit the colonisation of the intestine by pathogenic micro-organisms, and together with low levels of immunoglobulins may remain in the milk throughout lactation. These proteins are usually found in higher concentrations in colostrum and early lactation milk.
Lactoferrin binds iron and facilitates its uptake from the intestine. Due to its iron binding capacity lactoferrin inhibits a wide range of micro-organisms that require iron for growth5,7. When lactoferrin is hydrolysed by gastric enzymes it releases a peptide that is highly bactericidal to several species of pathogenic organisms.
Lactoperoxidase is bacteriostatic to a wide range of bacteria in the presence of thiocyanate and hydrogen peroxide generating enzymes. Lactoperoxidase denatures bacterial proteins by halogenation with hydrogen peroxide and halogens.
Lysozyme is bactericidal to many bacteria. Lysozyme hydrolyses the muramic acid in the cell wall thus causing the cell to lyse. Lysozyme also acts in concert with IgA, lactoperoxidase and ascorbate to lyse bacteria.
In animals other than marsupials, colostral milk is only produced for a short time after birth. During this time ingested antibodies are protected from intestinal digestive enzymes by antiproteinases present in the colostrum. Intestinal closure to the absorption of antibodies occurs as the composition of mammary secretion changes from colostrum to normal milk, when the levels of antibody fall rapidly.
Feed to newborn eutherians in the first 48 hours and marsupials untill weaning.
DIRECTIONS FOR EUTHERIANS
This applies to all domestic animals including cats, dogs, rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, horses, alpacas, cows, sheep, pigs & deer. Also used for eutherian wildlife and zoo mammals.
Impact should be fed as soon as possible after birth, and preferably before milk is fed. Impact can be absorbed for upto 48 hours after birth, depending on the species. Weigh the animal and select the appropriate weight range from the chart. Mix the amounts of Impact powder and warm pre-boiled water to make the daily Impact requirement. Refrigerate prepared Impact for one day only or store frozen in ice cube trays for up to 1 month.
Do not mix or feed Impact with milk for Eutherians.
Newborns that have not received maternal colostrum or milk.
First 12 hours: Do not feed milk during this time. Prepare a daily dose of Impact as described above and feed 1/4 of the amount every 2 hours.
Next 36 hours: Commence feeding milk every 4 hours. Prepare a daily dose of Impact as described above and feed 1/4 of the amount every 4 hours. Feed Impact 2 hours after the first milk feed so that the remaining Impact feeds are mid way between the next milk feeds.
Newborns that have received some milk but no maternal colostrum.
First 12 hours: Stop feeding milk. Prepare a daily dose of Impact as described above and feed 1/4 of the amount every 2 hours.
Next 36 hours: Recommence feeding milk. Prepare a daily dose of Impact as described above and feed 1/4 of the amount mid way between milk feeds.
DIRECTIONS FOR MARSUPIALS
Marsupials are different in that they do not produce a colostral milk. Impact is added to marsupial milk because intestinal closure occurs later in marsupiaIs and immunoglobulins are present in milk for much of lactation.
Mix and feed Impact with milk for marsupials.
For very early lactation to mid lactation: Select the appropriate amount of Impact powder for body weight from the chart. Mix the powder into the required daily volume of milk and feed as usual. This procedure may be repeated for up to 5 days.
For late lactation: Select the appropriate amount of Impact for body weight from the chart and add this to the normal daily feed volume of milk. Repeat if required.