Being fully aware of any health issue helps us stay on top of it and get/keep our herd healthy...: )
There are some classic signs, easy to spot...fish tail, fading color, exposed tail tip..coarse hair, slight hooked tips on hair, looking a bit singed..these of course are just a few common signs.. I have posted a few pix below....Copper deficiency left untreated can create irreversible damage...( see last pic)
I give copper rods to my goats every three months and still seem to have a problem...Many things can interfere with copper intake, some plants, too much iron, high sulfur, like in our water, even calcium, and minerals ect.....it can feel like an endless battle..Balance is key here. A good place to get some deeper understanding on copper def. ishttp://www.saanendoah.com/copper1.html its not the easiest to read..but very informative...
Treatment is dosing whats called copper rods...they look like broken pencil led...you can buy cow size bolus like i do ( see pic) or you can get them already in 2 and 4 gram size bolus....dose is 1 gram per 22# or if you do it they way I do...its 1 cc per 60#...I cut the tip of a syringe off..fill with the proper copper rod amount and top off with probiotic paste to hold it in...I then drench the copper and follow with a water drench to rinse it all down..this works well for me..others hide the rod in food, or use the bolus...while I do this every 3 months..you may not need it as often...let your goats condition tell you...Copper rods are slow release, so toxicity is unlikely when used proper.
"copper deficiency of kids in utero or after birth results in permanent myelin degeneration in the spinal cord, leading to progressive incoordination and paralysis with failure of mobility. Clinically, this appears similar to the neurologic form of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (see Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis) infection in young kids. Copper status of the ration needs to be evaluated, and copper supplementation provided as necessary. "
another very good read on Copper deficiency
Herbs are natural ways to up copper intake...I use vitalherbs, Bringham tea powder and pumpkin seed powder, Bringham tea doesnt increase copper but rather helps the body use the copper its getting, if I understand it right ...Land of Havilah is a good source to learn more on holistic care
PLEASE NOTE: Cows milk replacer has caused copper poisoning in kids....
I want to add: Balance is key. We don’t stop feeding Zinc because too much can cause a deficiency. We don’t stop feeding Alfalfa because too much calcium can interfere with uptake. Its not sulphur or iron or zinc or calcium alone that is the problem...its the TOO MUCH of any or all of these things...Keeping balance is key.
Be sure to talk about copper needs with your vet