Log in



iodineIodine is another vital nutrient and a trace element, and although deficiencies are not as common as those caused by copper, selenium and magnesium, deficiencies can still occur in a few areas.

  • In a few inland areas and alluvial plains, soils are deficient in the trace element iodine.
  • Iodine deficiency can also be induced by feeding brassicas and clovers, which contain chemicals (goitrogens) that reduce thyroid hormones.
  • One of the main signs of deficiency is goitre - a swelling of the thyroid glands in the neck just below the throat.
  • Goats are the species most susceptible to iodine deficiency.
  • Occasionally, goitre can occur in lambs, fawns, calves and foals.
  • Apart from goitre, signs of deficiency include poor survival rates in newborn animals, reduced milk production (cows), reduced wool production (sheep), and reduced fertility (ewes and cows).
  • Diagnosis is generally based on the occurrence of these clinical signs.
  • Pregnant cows, does and ewes and young growing animals can be dosed with potassium iodide at intervals of 3 to 6 months.
  • A long-acting iodine injection is also available..
  • In lower-risk areas, providing iodised salt licks may be sufficient.
  • If your area tends to be iodine deficient, discuss supplementation options with your veterinarian.
Go to top

Sign up for my monthly newsletter!

Get all the latest news along with practical tips and expert advice.