Title

Dermatopathy in Juvenile Angus Cattle Due to Vitamin A Deficiency

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation

Volume

24

Issue

4

Publisher

SAGE Journals

Publication Date

5-14-2012

First Page

763

Last Page

766

Abstract

In juvenile cattle, vitamin A deficiency is reported most commonly as a neurological condition; only rarely are there dermatologic manifestations. In the current study, alopecia, severe epidermal and follicular orthokeratosis, and acanthosis due to hypovitaminosis A are reported in 2 of 32 Angus calves, with a third animal suspected. Affected animals responded to vitamin A supplementation, and no additional calves displayed signs. Vitamin A acts on skin by regulating DNA transcription in keratinocytes, reducing the number of tonofilaments and desmosomes, both involved in cell-to-cell adhesion. Hence, adequate levels of dietary vitamin A are necessary for normal keratinocyte turnover, and deficiencies result in retention of keratinized cells (orthokeratosis). The present report reminds diagnosticians to consider vitamin A deficiency in cases of orthokeratotic dermatopathy in cattle.

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