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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2006
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    Default High selenium levels

    My daughter's horse has just been tested for vitamin e and selenium as part of a check up. His selenium levels are high but the vet is only recommending we read all labels to make sure he isn't getting an excess.

    Have any of you had a horse with high selenium levels with symptoms? What did you see for symptoms?
    "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp



  2. #2
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Vermont
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    Default

    High, as in, way too high, or as in, the high side of normal?
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2006
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    Default

    The person who called didn't give me the number but indicated on the high side of normal as there was no treatment recommended except not to give him anything with additional selenium in it. I scheduled the visit because his coat has become dull and brittle and he has lost muscling on his top line. Blood was also drawn for ACTH levels which we're waiting for. Ulcers are also suspected but we wanted to check these other possibilities. He is a 19 year old DWB schoolmaster. He hasn't had any significant changes recently.
    "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
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    MI USA
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    Default

    Does he get worked enough to sweat regularly? Good heavy sweats a couple times a week? I ask because sweating does help "use up" extra Selenium and can be a reason to check that horse has enough in their system.

    We had Selenium deficiency problems, which we found was from working horses hard, sweating it out of them and nothing replacing it in our soil. We have fixed the issue, but we learned A LOT about Selenium and Vit E in the process.

    Our horses are worked for conditioning, get sweated 3-5 days a week once we start the process for competitons. Conditioning takes at LEAST 90 days of time, not 90 works, in getting them fit for distance and loads, so that equals a LOT of sweat in that time. Our location requires supplementing the Selenium and Vit E, which other places may not require. Some places actually have EXCESS Selenium in the soil, so grazing can give animals more than they need.

    You might want to check local conditions, see if you have adequate Selenium in your soil, so any fed would be putting horse over needed amounts. As mentioned, reading labels on ALL food products, could add up to more than daily recommended Selenium and Vit E amounts being fed. Equines don't need much, so you do have to be careful about excess levels if horse is not being worked hard enough to sweat. Local grown hay with Selenium in it, being fed, would help keep those levels up even if he is not grazing.

    Working him and getting him sweaty regularly, could help keep the levels reduced or down into the center of "normal". One of our horses does test on the higher side too, but has not had any issues with it. He does get worked regularly, sweated when he works. Actually gets a lesser dose daily than the other equines. Not having enough Selenium causes a LOT of problems because it gets used in so many places on a horse. Some horses seem to need more than others, though both are being used exactly the same way.

    Good luck with your horse.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Just a number won't help - need the number in relation to the range of the lab used

    High side of normal wouldn't concern me other than, as said, to make sure I wasn't feeding anything with Se in addition to what he's getting now. I'd probably also test again in 3 months to see how things are progressing.

    Where is his hay from? If he's been eating hay from a place that is high, his levels may drop down after a few months off that hay if he's going back on grass. If hay is local, then your general area is one that's higher in Se and you can't fix that, you just make sure not to feed extra.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  6. #6
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Default

    I think the OP is in Vermont based on the screen name, and in general, we are a deficient area, so I am not sure he would be getting excess from the grass/hay/soil around here.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2006
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    Default

    Bingo, yes, I am in Vermont. I'm just a worrier who works very hard to make sure her horses are well cared for. He doesn't have the mane or tail hair loss although his coat is dry and brittle. We started him on Omega Horseshine about 10 days ago. In that time his coat has begun to improve. I guess I should just check the labels and not borrow trouble.
    "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
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    Default

    I live in a high Se area and horses here regularly test on the high side of normal without problems.

    Is your hay local, or is it trucked in from somewhere else? If it's grown in a high Se area, it might explain the lab results.



  9. #9
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    Apr. 22, 2006
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    Default

    The hay is Vermont grown hay. The horse is worked 5-6 days a week to the point where we have to clip him due to sweating.
    "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 15, 2013
    Location
    Canada
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    276

    Default

    My friend's horse had high selenium and, if I remember correctly, the main symptom was his hair falling out and becoming brittle, especially mane and tail.

    It was an odd case because we live in an area with selenium deficient soils and most people need to supplement selenium or the horse's get low.

    They simply took him off the pellets he had with added selenium. All the pelleted feeds here have added selenium so they put him on beet pulp and oats instead.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    I wouldn't worry about anything. High end of normal is still normal Re-test him in another 3 months and see what you have.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  12. #12
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Default

    What JB said.

    What are you currently feeding (other than hay)? Brand/type/and how much by weight?
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  13. #13
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    Apr. 22, 2006
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    Default

    The vet's suggestion was that we retest in a few months, which we will. He is currently eating 6 qts of Poulin's Fiber Max Pro and 2 qts of hay pellets (split into 2 feedings). He was getting Blue Seal Dynasty 14-10 but the BO changed about 2 or 3 months ago. His poor condition seems to coincide with that switch but everyone tells me that can't be it so we're looking at health related causes. The horses all get 2 flakes of hay AM & PM. I have asked that he have hay in his hay bag at all times since we suspect ulcers also.
    "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp



  14. #14
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Yes, poor condition can be related to a change in feeds Depsite how nice a feed appears on paper, despite how well other horses do on it, every horse does poorly on some feed or another.

    How much hay is "2 flakes"? 6lb? 8? 10? 5lb/flake is on the heavier side of most square bales, unless they are the ginormous squares. So 10lb/feeding, 20lb/day could be all he's getting, which is not a lot.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2006
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    Default

    The amount the horses get depends on the flake size of the bales, some are good sized flakes, some are pretty small. Yes, it is less hay than I want him to have. We are at the barn every day so I'm keeping an eye out to make sure he gets enough hay.

    Personally I give my horses at home free choice hay but we need to board the one for the indoor. Boarding is hard. There isn't a barn that would do everything the way I would. I've learned to let go of a lot but I would like them to have more hay.
    "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp



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