Reply To: Zinc

  • theholisticgoat

    June 22, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    Zinc-responsive dermatosis in goats suggestive of hereditary malabsorption: two field cases


    Two cases of zinc deficiency in dairy goats from different flocks and not associated with a zinc-deficient diet are described. Hard, dry, hyperkeratotic skin, hair loss and pruritus especially prominent on the back, legs, udder, face and ears were the most common clinical signs. Skin biopsy findings revealed a mixture of orthokeratotic and parakeratotic hyperkeratosis. On initial examination, serum zinc concentrations were low in both goats (461 microg L(-1) and 521 microg L(-1), respectively). Although mild skin lesions persisted during the early stages of zinc supplementation, skin lesions completely resolved after prolonged oral zinc supplementation. Withdrawal of zinc supplementation resulted in re-appearance of lesions in both animals. Case 2 gave birth to two kids, one of which showed mild skin lesions at 8 months of age together with a low serum zinc concentration (434 microg L(-1)), suggestive of hereditary zinc malabsorption. The other kid remained free of skin lesions and had a serum zinc concentration (530 microg L(-1)) within the normal range. On the basis of historical and clinical findings, the cases presented here more closely resemble Syndrome 1 hereditary zinc deficiency as seen in Nordic dog breeds rather than other zinc deficiency conditions seen in other species. It is suggested that zinc deficiency in these goats was due to hereditary malabsorption of dietary zinc. This is the first descriptive study of this condition in goats. Life-long zinc supplementation may be necessary in such patients.