White muscle disease in cattle

Robert Brosnan ez049711 at dale.ucdavis.edu
Wed Apr 12 22:24:17 EST 1995


Eric R. Hugo (e_hugo at dsu1.dsu.nodak.edu) wrote:
: Dear Bionetters,
: 	A student of mine approached me with a question concerning
: a strange problem she and her husband are having on their cattle ranch.
: It seems that one cow in particular has given birth to three calves in three
: separate pregancies that exhibit symptoms similar to those descibed for white 
: muscle disease.  The info I have been able to dig up on this topic indicates 
: that white muscle disease is caused by either a selenium or tocopherol 
: deficiency.  It seems rather strange to me that only 1 calf out of >250 live 
: births has been exhibiting these symptoms and all three incidences have 
: occurred with the same cow.  Does anyone know of any bovine genetic disorder 
: that would produce similar symptoms? (ataxia/limb paralysis).  Or does anyone 
: have any pointers to resources on the net (I've checked as many WWW sites asI 
: could find).  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
: 					Eric


:   // \\          // \\  // \\          // \\  // \\          // \\  // \\
: Eric Hugo, Ph.D.// |:,\\': | \\      // | :,\\': | \\      // | :,\\': | \\
: e_hugo at dsu1.dsu.nodak.edu\ | | \\  // | | //  \\ | | \\  // | | //  \\ | |
: Asst. Professor, Biology  \\ | :,\\': | //      \\ | :,\\': | //      \\ |
: Dickinson State University  \\ //  \\ //          \\ //  \\ //          \\
: Dickinson, ND  58601    |PGP 2.6 Key available from most key servers

Nutritional Muscular Dystrophy ("White Muscle Disease") can be due to
deficiencies in selenium, vitamin E, or both.  If a deficiency is
suspected, selenium levels can be measured in whole blood, and
alpha-tocopherol can be measured in plasma.  Other problems associated
with selenium/vitamin E deficiencies are reproductive failure and red
blood cell fragility from increased oxidative damage.  Treatment of
Nutritional Muscular Dystrophy will probably include selenium
supplementation.  However, a veterinarian should be consulted for accurate
diagnosis and treatment since high levels of selenium are toxic, resulting
in emaciation, blindness, erosion of joints and long bones, and sloughing
of hooves. 

(N.B.:  There are MANY diseases which can cause ataxia/limb paralysis. 
An accurate diagnosis will require examination by a veterinarian.)

-Robert Brosnan 

--




More information about the Bioforum mailing list