The aim of this project is to evaluate the capacity of a molybdenum-rich mineral salt in the prevention of cumulative cooper poisoning (CCP) in sheep, through clinical and hepatic copper and molybdenum concentrations. Twenty five crossbreed Ile-de-France sheep were randomly distributed equally into five groups. Group 1 received a 80% forage and 20% concentrate diet, groups 2 and 3 received a 50% forage and 50% concentrate diet, and groups 4 and 5 received the same diet as groups 2 and 3 with a daily supplementation of 150 mg of copper sulfate. Groups 1, 3 and 5 received a mineral salt with 300 ppm of molybdenum. Three times during the experiment a liver biopsy was carried out to evaluate the degree of copper accumulation. Three sheep from group 4 and one sheep from group 5 showed a clinical picture of CCP. There was no difference in the frequency of mortality between groups 4 and 5 (P=0.56). The liver copper concentration was higher in sheep with CCP (2450 ppm) compared to sheep that did not present CCP (1518 ppm). The higher the ingestion of molybdenum in the diet the lower the liver copper concentration at the end of the experiment (r=-0.72).
lamb; copper; antagonists; liver