A review of selenium deficiency in grazing ruminants. Part 2: Towards a more rational approach to diagnosis and prevention

A review of selenium deficiency in grazing ruminants. Part 2: Towards a more rational approach to diagnosis and prevention
Peer reviewed

Abstract

Although the importance of selenium in ruminants has been recognised for over 30 years, problems associated with selenium deficiency are still frequently identified in grazing livestock operations. There is a growing diversity of tools available for the management of selenium deficiency giving rise to diagnostic and therapeutic dilemmas for the veterinary practitioner. There is no single test for selenium adequacy which can be considered superior in all diagnostic situations because the method of choice depends on the objective of the testing procedure.
Reference ranges: Reviewing the available data, the current New Zealand reference ranges for selenium concentrations in ruminant tissue and feed appear valid.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Management of selenium deficiency will continue to be important in grazing ruminants. Practising veterinarians should be familiar with the appropriate use of tests for selenium deficiency. Advice should be based on micronutrient analysis of animal tissue, defensible reference ranges backed by production response data, and supplementation programmes which optimise the return on investment.

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