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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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I have a white faced black angus herford it has a white cast

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I have a white faced black angus herford it has a white cast to it insiead of black and so does her calf they are loosing weight its probably gone on about a month my other cows are still black Thanks Charles
Hi there,

Loss of hair color is most commonly due to a trace mineral imbalance, usually copper. It can be from not having enough copper in the diet, or from having too much selenium, molybdenum, or sulfur. Copper deficiency can also cause decreased appetite and weight loss. I'm not sure where you're located, but selenium toxicity is most common in the western US, and too much molybdenum and sulfur are generally seen in pastures with a lot of red clover and alfalfa.

Since it seems to only be affecting these 2 animals, I'd wonder if this cow was low on the totem pole and not competing well for any grain or mineral supplements you might be putting out. Alternatively, this cow and her calf might be the first ones to show signs, and other cows might follow later.

I'd encourage you to have a vet test her copper levels (and possibly her other trace mineral levels), because if it's not what is going on, it is possible to oversupplement these minerals and cause toxicity. Additionally, trace mineral blocks or supplements are usually not enough to correct a deficiency, and injectable forms or copper "bullets" which sit in the rumen and release copper slowly may be needed.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.

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