Cattle Diseases Related to Deficiency - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
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Cattle Diseases Related to Deficiency - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

What are deficiency diseases in cattle? Will the deficiency of copper, calcium, iodine and magnesium cause problems in cattle health? What are the symptoms of such deficiencies? What is the relation between minerals and their content level in the body? The importance of minerals in cattle feed is outlined below. The details of deficiency related diseases are also given.

Deficiency diseases in cattle can cause minor and major problems. The cattle should be given feed that contains proper amount of nutrients. Overdose can also create problems. Deficiency diseases can affect the milk output and fertility. Some of the common deficiency diseases in cattle are listed below.

1. Magnesium insufficiency

Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in metabolism. It helps in forming bones. Magnesium helps in the muscle’s neuromuscular activity. Though there are stored amounts of magnesium in the animal’s body, it is not fully utilized in terms of emergencies. There are two forms of magnesium deficiency diseases: - Lactation related tetany (indirect deficiency) and hypomagnesaemic tetany (direct deficiency).

 The lactating cows often have low levels of magnesium in the body. When they graze on pastures high in nitrogen and potassium, there is high risk of tetany because the cows are unable to absorb magnesium. The symptoms include excess saliva, bellowing, staggering, convulsions, falling, froth and abrupt death. Calves which live solely on milk are at risk of magnesium deficiency because of high amount of calcium in the milk. Treatments are given in the form of magnesium injections.

2. Iodine insufficiency

Deficiency of iodine is the cause of goiter. Iodine is essential for the proper development of the body. Cows which have deficiency can give birth to calves which have no hair, are stunted in growth, blind, with coarse skin and inflamed thyroid. In many cases, the calf will be still born or die within a short time. The reproductive capacity of cows will be affected if there is iodine deficiency. The semen will be affected in the case of bulls. Certain foods like cabbage, star grass, rape, turnips, cauliflower and clover can cause iodine deficiency. Treatment for calves includes drinking from teats dipped in iodine. The feed for cows and bulls should be mixed with appropriate amount of iodine as directed by the veterinarian.

3. Calcium insufficiency

Calcium loss after giving birth to calf is a common occurrence. Change in levels of other minerals can also affect the calcium present in the body. Calcium deficiency can lead to uterine prolapse, metritis, mastitis and dystocia. There are thee stages the animal undergoes after being affected by calcium loss. In the first phase, the animal will bob the head, twitch the ears, show restlessness, and bellow. In the second stage, the animal lies down, is cold, is not able to pass urine or manure and can have bloat. In the third stage, the cow will not respond, will enter coma stage and eventually die. Calcium drips are administered slowly to treat the animal. Injections are also given in mild cases.

4. Copper insufficiency

Copper plays an important role in helping iron absorption, activating enzymes, hair pigmentation and controlling the function of micro organisms in rumen. Copper aids in building tissues in body, helps fight free radicals and is imperative for fertility. Copper insufficiency is sometimes caused due to higher levels of other minerals in the body. The symptoms include drop in milk production, anemia, and diarrhea, slow growth of hair, change in appetite, abortions, infertility and lack of coordination in movement. Diagnosis can be done through blood tests. Treatments include injections or oral prescriptions. It must be noted that overdose can cause toxicity.

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Comments (5)

A most valuable bovine article.thank you for your wisdom and research too.

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