Original Research

Preliminary report on osteochondrosis in cattle in the north-western parts of South Africa

Leon Prozesky, Johan Neser, Heinz Meissner, Kenneth Botha, Lubbe Jacobs, Craig Shepstone, Hannes Viljoen, Hinner Köster, Chris de Brouwer, Jan van Zyl, Gerjan van der Veen
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 83, No 1 | a1083 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v83i1.1083 | © 2016 Leon Prozesky, Johan Neser, Heinz Meissner, Kenneth Botha, Lubbe Jacobs, Craig Shepstone, Hannes Viljoen, Hinner Köster, Chris de Brouwer, Jan van Zyl, Gerjan van der Veen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 06 October 2015 | Published: 27 July 2016

About the author(s)

Leon Prozesky, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Johan Neser, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Heinz Meissner, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Kenneth Botha, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Lubbe Jacobs, Lubern Animal Feeds, Hartswater, South Africa
Craig Shepstone, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Hannes Viljoen, Animal Nutrition and Health, Centurion, South Africa
Hinner Köster, Kaonna Investments (Pty) Ltd, Pretoria, South Africa
Chris de Brouwer, Department of Agriculture, North West Province, South Africa
Jan van Zyl, Farmer North West Province, South Africa
Gerjan van der Veen, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The north-western part of South Africa, in particular, is well known for mineral imbalances. Aphosphorosis, resulting in rickets and osteomalacia, received a lot of attention at the turn of the nineteenth century (1882–1912). This was followed in 1997 by research on Vryburg hepatosis, another area-specific mineral imbalance–related disease in young calves reared on manganese-rich soil derived from the weathering of dolomitic (carbonate) rock formations. In 1982, a totally new syndrome (osteochondrosis) manifested in, amongst others, areas in South Africa where aphosphorosis was rife. Osteochondrosis was also identified in the south-western parts of Namibia as well as southern Botswana and other areas in South Africa. Osteochondrosis has a multifactorial aetiology and this study focused on the role of minerals, particularly phosphorus, in the development of the disease. A significant improvement in the clinical signs in experimental animals and a reduction of osteochondrosis occurred on farms where animals received bioavailable trace minerals and phosphorus as part of a balanced lick. An increase in the occurrence of the disease on farms during severe drought conditions in 2012–2013 prompted researchers to investigate the possible role of chronic metabolic acidosis in the pathogenesis of the disease.


Keywords

Osteochondrosis Cattle South Africa

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