Home > Coolac Stores answers FAQ about treating selenium deficiency in cattle and sheep

Coolac Stores answers FAQ about treating selenium deficiency in cattle and sheep

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article image Coolac Store recommends Deposal injections for the prevention of selenium deficiencies in both cattle and sheep

Selenium is essential to the health and nutrition of cattle and sheep.  Coolac Store answers some questions about Selenium.  

Q.  What is selenium?

A.  Selenium is a trace element that is found in animal forage.  Selenium in plants is particularly sensitive to soil conditions, large areas of Australia, including the area to the east of Hume Highway have low levels of selenium.  

Q.  Why is selenium important?

A.  Selenium is essential for the effective metabolic processes of the body.  It protects the tissue membranes against damage caused by oxidative processes.  

Q.  What are the effects of selenium deficiency?

A.  selenium deficiency can lead to numerous problems, such as:

  • muscular dystrophy
  • hite muscle disease
  • decreased food consumption
  • ill-thrift
  • poor production
  • decreased reproductive performance
  • loss of profit  
Q.  How can you test for a deficiency in selenium?

A.  The only way to test for selenium is a blood test which measures GsPHx (Gluthathione Peroxidase) levels.  Selenium is required for the production of GsPHx, so there is a strong correlation between the levels of both in the animals’ blood.  

Q.  How can I ensure that sheep and cattle always have enough selenium in their diet?

A.  There are a number of solutions including, drenches, selenium bullets and fertiliser, but the simplest and most cost effective solution is to treat sheep and cattle with a Deposel injection from Novartis.  

Q. When and how often do I need to treat cattle and sheep with Deposel selenium injections?

A.  Cattle need treating more regularly than sheep, as below:  

  • Sheep – a dose of 1ml per 50kg of sheep bodyweight is required bi-annually.  This program should be followed for all retained sheep, including rams.  Weaner lambs in odd years should also be treated.  For purchases that will be introduced for two months or longer, the same treatment plan should be followed.
  • Cattle – a dose of 1ml per 50kg of cattle bodyweight is required every year.  Ideally heifers and cows should be treated at pregnancy testing or during weaning and calves at weaning, unless sold as weaners.  Bulls can be treated when other treatments are being administered.  As with sheep, purchases that will be on the property for at least 2 months should follow the same program.  
Contact the Coolac Store for more information on treating cattle and sheep with selenium deficiencies.

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