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Minerals and Mastitis in Cows
Inflammation of the mammary gland (mastitis) is an important disease in dairy cows. Among factors affecting the incidence of mastitis, mineral deficiencies are mentioned, since they strongly influence the immune system. Consequently, these deficiencies result in weakened immunity, which increases the risk of any infectious disease. The minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, copper and zinc) interact differently with the immune system; nevertheless, their deficiencies invariably increase the risk of mastitis occurrence in dairy cows.
Microelements occur in relatively small amounts in living organisms. Moreover, aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), nickel (Ni), silicon (Si), tin (Sn) and vanadium (V) are also considered trace minerals, but they are present in extremely low concentrations and their specific roles are not yet fully understood. The reference values of selected serum mineral concentrations in dairy cows are presented in Table 1 . The given values collected from selected publications indicate that the production, health and reproduction performance of studied cows was kept at the optimum level, since both deficiencies and excess of dietary minerals can have a detrimental effect on animals, the environment and dairy farm profitability.
Table 1. Reference values of serum mineral concentrations in dairy cows.
|Calcium (Ca)||2.2–2.6 mmol/L|||
|Phosphorus (P)||1.3–2.6 mmol/L|||
|Magnesium (Mg)||0.75–1.0 mmol/L|||
|Selenium (Se)||0.73–1.08 µmol/L|||
|Copper (Cu)||1–18 µmol/L|||
|Zinc (Zn)||8–19 µmol/L|||
In cattle veterinary medicine, mineral deficiencies are mainly associated with characteristic metabolic disorders such as periparturient hypocalcemia (milk fever), hypophosphatemia and hypomagnesemia (grass staggers). However, it has to be remembered that every mineral deficiency leads to immunosuppression , which is a well-recognized predisposing factor for the occurrence of infectious diseases including mastitis. Obviously, the key factor determining the concentration of a specific mineral in the body is its supply via feed. Thus, dietary requirements for dairy cows depending of their physiological state are presented in Table 2 .
|Mineral||Requirement for Non-Lactating Cows||Concentration in Milk (mg/kg)||Requirement for Lactating Cows|
|Calcium (Ca)||0.0154 g/kg BW||1220||0.106 g/kg BW|
|Phosphorus (P)||1 g/kg DMI||900||2.5 g/kg DMI|
|Magnesium (Mg)||3 mg/kg BW||150||10 mg/kg BW|
|Copper (Cu)||152 mg/cow (15.2 mg/kg DMI)||0.015||313 mg/cow (15.7 mg/kg DMI)|
|Selenium (Se)||0.3 mg/kg DMI||0.01–0.025||0.3 mg/kg DMI|
|Zinc (Zn)||310 mg/day (31 mg/kg DMI)||4||1261 mg/day (63 mg/kg DMI)|
2. Mineral Supplementation as an Auxiliary Tool in Mastitis Treatment—Field Trials
The entry is from 10.3390/ani11082330
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