Selenium supplementation supports good health, productivity and profitability in Australian cattle.

Many parts of Australia including much of coastal southern Australia and up the eastern seaboard is selenium deficient. Selenium deficiency can be complicated and affected by various factors and presents an ongoing challenge for farmers across the country.

Bayer Animal Health Technical Services Veterinarian, Dr Domenic Dell’Osa, said “selenium levels can vary seasonally and geographically – even from property to property – so producers may not know whether selenium intake is sufficient until there are obvious health issues that draw their attention to a deficiency.” However by the time there are clinical signs of deficiency a large proportion of the herd are underperforming in terms of productivity and reproduction parameters.

Selenium is an essential trace element for ruminants, including cattle and sheep, and is required for normal growth and fertility and to help prevent health problems such as mastitis and scours. Signs of deficiency include sub-optimal milk production, sub-optimal fertility in adult cattle, premature and weak calves and mastitis

The first step towards addressing a potential deficiency is knowing the selenium status of your stock. “Levels of selenium are identified via blood sample testing with normal levels according to laboratory reference ranges being above 40U/gHb in cattle. Bayer works closely with producers to encourage a more proactive approach which involves collecting blood samples from the herd for accurate diagnosis and, if indicated, treatment with Selovin LA,” Dr Dell’Osa said.

“We need to ensure cattle are at their healthiest and production is maximised through regular supplementation with a long-acting product such as Selovin LA which gives producers long-term management of selenium deficiency,” Dr Dell’Osa commented.

The benefits of addressing a selenium deficiency include better productivity, better grass conversion and use, improved fertility, the ability to make different management decisions, and an obvious boost to profitability.

Selovin LA is for the treatment and prevention of selenium deficiency in cattle and sheep. It protects against selenium deficiency in cattle for up to 12 months and in sheep for up to 18 months.

Selovin LA contains barium selenate, which slowly releases selenium into the body after injecting under the skin. It works to elevate selenium blood and tissue levels in deficient states and ensures adequate selenium levels to maintain fertility, immunity and prevent production losses associated with selenium deficiency.

“Selovin LA provides cost effective management of selenium deficiency in a convenient and safer form of supplement due to the slow release of selenium following administration. Importantly there are no withhold periods,” Dr Dell’Osa concluded.