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Thread: Copper Deficiency in Park Deer.

  1. #1

    Copper Deficiency in Park Deer.

    A bit of a specialist subject so I'm hoping the right people notice the thread.

    Having seen this in a Red Stag it has made me curious. From my reading I see that with the right food supplements it can be treated. So my questions are,

    If the herd are treated with the correct supplements will you still get the occasional animal that might still become copper deficient and deteriorate?

    Presuming there a point of no return at which a deer with copper deficiency will deteriorate completely how is this avoided?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Interesting - what signs in the stag and how was it diagnosed. It can sometimes be tricky to be certain in farm animals.

    If it is a herd problem then supplements should work, but they depend on the animal eating the food, so many farmers use boluses.

  3. #3
    I know a good way to inject 168gn of copper in each deficient animal
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not using it in a fruit salad.

    Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they never get it wrong.

  4. #4
    Sadly the data I have seen on retention weights means there will not be enough to enter the blood stream...

    and if there was, the barnes bolus means there won't be a blood stream to carry it around the body!

  5. #5
    Normally copper deficiency is diagnosed on fresh liver samples at < 70 mumol/kg fresh weight or serum <6 mumol/litre.
    Treatment can be by copper boluses if handling facilities available. Salt/copper licks on posts (KNZ). Copper sulphate top dressings at 12 kg per hectare in October.If silage is made copper sulphate can be added but I don't know quantity as we never used this method. Soil samples are normally taken because selenium and molybdenum can depress copper uptake. Keep sheep clear of all treated areas.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Buchan View Post
    Interesting - what signs in the stag and how was it diagnosed. It can sometimes be tricky to be certain in farm animals.

    If it is a herd problem then supplements should work, but they depend on the animal eating the food, so many farmers use boluses.
    Loss of condition and increasing weakness/incoordination in back legs. No others signs of ill health anywhere on a carcass inspection. Other local, site specific indicators.

    Thanks for the input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buchan View Post
    Sadly the data I have seen on retention weights means there will not be enough to enter the blood stream...

    and if there was, the barnes bolus means there won't be a blood stream to carry it around the body!
    Can I have access to this data?

    Is it avoidable through other supplements or treating of the ground. Will you still get casualties within the herd ?

    What immediate options are there with a deer showing the above symptoms other than the lethal one!?

  7. #7
    Is there not a loss of colour pigment in the coat of the animal a sign?? Wf1

  8. #8
    Loss of condition and increasing weakness/incoordination in back legs. No others signs of ill health anywhere on a carcass inspection. Other local, site specific indicators.

    You really need either liver biopsy or histology of the spinal cord to be certain (assuming it's similar to swayback in sheep in pathology - I'm aware it affects older animals in deer unlike lambs in sheep). An increasing number of vets refer to Cu deficiency as molybdenum poisoning (as Morena has suggested) with sulphur and iron also being a problem. If the disease is similar to sheep, then treating once the signs are there is probably unrewarding.

  9. #9
    Copper deficiency easily and permanently dealt with via use of KNZ WILD mineral blocks for deer; One deer manager losing 25-40+ animals per annum from 3 different deer parks in the Trent valley started using the blocks and stopped all losses. Not all blocks are the same, though, but the KNZ block has 100% of the trace elements in it that are stated. Many highland estates have used them for the past 20+ years, to the benefit of their deer; I know, because I supply them! References available, hope this helps. BTW the T valley deer manager soon afterwards became a distributor for them!

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