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Review On Copper Deficiency In Domestic Ruminants

Volume 1 - Issue 3, September 2017 Edition
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Awake Menzir, Debeb Dessie
copper, deficiency, enzootic ataxia/swayback, ruminant
The purpose of this review is to give an overview on the general conditions of copper deficiency and to highlight its preventive strategies. Copper deficiency is either a complete lack of the element in the diet or its presence in a very low amount in the animal tissue. Copper deficiency manifests itself in young ruminants as a herd problem of unthriftiness, progressive loss of weight, changes in hair coat color or texture of wool, neonatal ataxia in lambs and kids, chronic lameness, and terminal anemia. The problem occurs worldwide including the east African countries as a primary or secondary deficiency associated with environmental and animal factors. Although heavy mortalities occur in affected areas, the major loss is due to failure of animals to thrive. Copper deficiency develops annually in about 0.9% of the cattle population in the United Kingdom. Enzootic ataxia may affect up to 90% of a lamb flock in a badly affected area and most lambs die of inanition. In falling disease, up to 40% of cattle in affected herd may die. The problem can be prevented by several methods of copper supplementation, including feeding salt with 0.5-2.0% additional copper as copper sulfate, injecting a commercial preparation of copper, dosing with gelatin capsules containing copper wires, adding copper tablets to water and fertilizing pastures with copper.
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