Polio - polioencephalomalacia
Signs/Symptoms of thiamin deficiency in ruminants
Thiamin deficiency in ruminants manifests itself as polioencephalomalacia. Signs of polioencephalomalacia include disorientation and wandering, blindness and opishotonus or retraction of the head. The brain of infected animals becomes inflamed and edematous. Ruminants will also show symptoms as seen in other animals - anorexia, poor feed utilization and weakness.
Normally ruminants are fairly resistant to thiamin deficiency since rumen microbes provide the animal with sufficient amounts of thiamin. However, the ingestion of thiaminases will lead to polioencephalomalacia. Additionally, young growing ruminants, especially cattle and sheep, fed high-grain diets are especially susceptable. Diets high in grains can encourage the growth of certain thiaminase-producing bacteria in the rumen. These bacteria, including Clostridium sporogenes and a few species of Bascillus can produce enough thiaminases to induce thiamin deficiency.
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