Written by Ted H. Noon, DVM
Arizona ranchers, nowadays, are aware of the need to prevent disease in their range cattle. To optimize disease resistance and prevention veterinarians and ranchers work together to create vaccination protocols based on the breed of cattle, the cattle’s environment, and the cattle’s diet. Ranchers also utilize trace minerals to optimize their cattle’s nutrition and health. Marginal deficiencies of certain trace minerals can have subtle effects that are not obvious but can cause diseases that affect either or both cows and calves, and affect resistance of calves as well as their response to vaccination for certain diseases. Severe deficiencies of certain trace minerals can result in animal losses that can only be diagnosed at necropsy. For these reasons, ranchers supplement their cattle with minerals, just like I take vitamins, to increase zinc, iron, and vitamin D to better my resistance to sickness and to better my health.