A case of concurrent molybdenosis, secondary copper, cobalt and selenium deficiency in a small sheep herd in Northern Germany
To the author's knowledge this paper describes the first proven report of a combined primary molybdenosis, secondary copper (Cu) deficiency, Ovine White Liver Disease-Cobalt (Co) deficiency, and selenium (Se) deficiency in a small pedigree herd of White Horned Heath sheep in Germany (8 ewes, 2 rams, 3 yearling ewes, 17 lambs) for decades. Clinical signs associated with these mineral deficiencies in a group of pastured ram lambs included emaciation, conjunctivitis, anaemia, growth retardation, discolouration of the wool and photodermatitis. Morbidities and mortalities arose in 4-6-month-old lambs despite intensive veterinary treatment in the summer of 2014 and 2015 (n = 13, 23% died). Se (3/5), Cu (4/7), and Co (3/3) deficiencies in combination with elevated values for Molybdenum (Mo, 2/2) were found. Hamburg is a large industrial city and an input of heavy metals from surrounding industries and coal-fired power stations in combination with a sandy, non-fertilised soil and monoculture grass species might offer a potential explanation for the severity of mineral deficiencies observed in this herd.