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  • Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin A - Essential for normal growth and for the formation of strong bones, teeth, for normal vision and cell structure, for protecting the linings of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts and for healthy skin. Reserves can be stored in the liver for a few months. Kids with coccidiosis have an increased vitamin A requirement because of impaired absorption.

Naturally taken in by grazing animals in the form of protovitamin and converted into vitamin A by the intestinal wall. Good pasture and fresh hay contains adequate quantities while old or weathered hay is a poor source. After 6 months of storage, all beta-carotene in hay has been destroyed. Colostrum is a very rich source of vitamin A if the doe is healthy at birthing time.

  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Unthrifty appearance with a poor hair coat
  • Night blindness
  • Thick nasal discharge
  • Deficiency predisposes to diarrhea and respiratory disease
  • Adult goats may have a decreased fertility rate
  • Susceptibility to parasites

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) - This vitamin plays a vital role in the activities of various enzymes involved in the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates and in the functioning of the nerves, muscles and the heart. Kids that do not yet have a fully developed rumen need a dietary source of B compex vitamins. B vitamins also should be added to the diet or administered by injection to sick animals and those with poor rumen function or marked change in diet.

Normally synthesized in adequate amounts by rumen microbes.

  • The most common deficiency of B vitamins occurs when a goat contracts polioencelphalomalacia (goat polio
  • Deficiency can occur in kids or adults due to the presence of thiamine-destructive enzymes form eating oak bark, bracken, moldy feed or over-feeding on cereal grains, prolonged diarrhea
  • Blindness
  • Rigid, bent necks that won’t straighten out and loss of eye focus. Usually results from eating moldy hay, feed or silage
  • Some symptoms result from necrosis or death of some of the cells in the cortex of the brain

Vitamin B12 – Also known as cyanocobalamin, a vitamin that plays a vital role in the activities of several enzymes. It is important in the production of the genetic material of cells (and thus in the growth and development), in the production of red blood cells in bone marrow, in the utilization of folic acid and carbohydrates in the diet, and in the functioning of the nervous system.

Cobalt is essential for the production of vitamin B12 by micro-organisms in the rumen

  • Loss of appetite
  • Do not eat and they waste away.
  • Condition may be compounded by worms because the deficiency makes goats more susceptible to roundworm parasites.

Vitamin D – There are two main forms of vitamin D. D2 ( ergocalciferol) and D3 ( cholecalciferol). They play several vital roles in the body. The vitamin helps regulate the balance of calcium and phosphate, aids in the absorption of calcium and is essential for strong bones and teeth. Excess of vitamin D can cause problems.

D2 is made in the skin, induced by ultra-violet rays. It takes part in the absorption, deposition and excretion of calcium and phosphorus. D3 is found in liver oil from marine fishes. Colostrum is rich in vitamin D. If adults are on pasture or fed much sun-cured hay, their needs should be easily met.

  • Rickets
  • Bowed limbs
  • Enlarged joints
  • Stiffness
  • Growth rate and body conditions are poor
  • Excess vitamin D activity from certain toxic plants causes calcinosis or tendons and other soft tissues. The same effect can be had by large overdoses of oral or injectable vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin E - It is essential for normal cell structure, for maintaining the activities of certain enzymes and for the formation of red blood cells. It also protects the lungs and other tissues from damage by pollutants and help prevent red blood cells from being destroyed by poisons in the blood. Its main action is as an antioxidant; it stabilizes polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, and various hormones and enzymes. Vitamin E and selenium are closely interrelated

Present in colostrum, milk, hay and grasses. Older hay is very low in vitamin E.

  • Nutritional muscular dystrophy (white muscle disease). Most likely to occur with feeding of silage or old hay. Kids may have muscle disease at birth and be too weak to suckle.