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  1. #1
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    Default Vitamin E...

    We (my vet and I) are highly suspicious of my mare having low Vitamin E levels. He was at the barn on Saturday (4/27) to do spring shots, so I had him draw blood to run the Vitamin E test to see for sure. Since we are highly suspect about the levels being low, he administered the Vitamin E shot while he was there (after drawing her blood).

    He just called me last night to tell me that (unknown to him) the blood sample needs to be overnighted to Cornell, so the blood he shipped on Saturday didn't get there until Tuesday morning. They told him to redraw the blood and overnight it...

    The problem: she's already gotten a Vitamin E shot, so any low values will be skewed because of that now!

    So, what do we do?

    My line of thinking is that because we suspected low numbers anyways, to put her on a continuous Vitamin E supplement now that we've given her the shot and (ideally) the numbers would be up and the supplment would keep them up. If she makes improvements, we can safely assume that Vitamin E was an issue.

    My brain, however, doesn't like the "assume" approach, and I like to know things for certain. Should I NOT supplement and wait a few months and have the blood redrawn?

    I'm not sure which is the best route to take here.

    1) supplement and see
    2) don't supplement, give it some time, and retest

    I'm kind of annoyed because I really did want to get a baseline number, even it that proved the numbers are fine.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  2. #2
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    Honestly, at this point I would go with the "see if it works" method and skip trying to get a baseline.

    It would have been nice to have that number and confirmation that what you're doing is the *right* answer, but Murphy conspired against you.

    If you redraw now, do the results change anything you're doing? If they're low, you're still supplementing. If they're normal, are you going to assume that is due to the shot and continue supplementing? The only circumstance I could see you changing your plan of action at all is the exceedingly long shot that the horse is actually HIGH on Vit E, but really what is the chance of that?


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  3. #3
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    If your horse actually needs Vit E supplementation, I highly recommend this product. Actually proven that it raises serum vit e levels.

    It's expensive, but worth it.

    http://www.kerx.com/products/Nano-E/
    Last edited by NorCalDressage; May. 1, 2013 at 10:33 AM. Reason: grammer



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    ...

    If you redraw now, do the results change anything you're doing? If they're low, you're still supplementing. If they're normal, are you going to assume that is due to the shot and continue supplementing? ...
    I wouldn't redraw now because that is kind of pointless, she's already had the shot so any numbers aren't going to be "accurate" baseline numbers.

    I would either continue supplementing and see what happens; OR...

    Not supplement, wait a period of time (not sure how long ) and then redraw to see what the numbers are (essentially, allowing the shot time to wear off and for her to be her "normal" to get a real baseline) and go from there.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  5. #5
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    You presumably had some reason to suspect the horse was low, and I imagine you had some STRONG indications, or you would not have given an Vit E injection to start the process.

    So continue supplementing and see if the symptoms that caused you to suspect Vit E deficiency go away.

    Not supplementing and waiting a period of time for the injection to wear off accomplishes what? Sure, you'd KNOW for sure that she's low (if she is) but then you're dealing with the symptoms for an additional unknown amount of time before you can treat something that you're pretty sure she's got NOW.

    If Vit E supplementation were a fine art and was dangerous without a true baseline to fine tune the dosage numbers, it would be prudent to get a true starting number. But Vit E supplementation isn't a fine art, and supplementing a horse without a deficiency is generally harmless, other than a hit to the pocketbook. I get your desire and frustration for not having a baseline, but the window of opportunity has closed. Treat based on symptoms and go from there.

    FWIW, I supplement Vit E in ALL of my horses unless they're grazing on grass, since it's one of the first things to degrade in hay. I've found doing so makes my neuro mare a little happier and sure can't hurt the others. I use the all natural gel caps from Puritan's Pride and the cost is very low. I've not tested them at all.


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  6. #6
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    Default

    The product information on the vitamin E injectable product should contain information on how soon a change in plasma levels would be seen after a given dose. The vet should easily be able to look that up.
    Click here before you buy.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    The product information on the vitamin E injectable product should contain information on how soon a change in plasma levels would be seen after a given dose. The vet should easily be able to look that up.
    Honestly, this is not the first "oops" dealing with this vet, there have been numerous (including on Saturday after he left, I called him because my mare was colicky from her vaccinations, and he told me to give her banamine IM and she'd be fine...I will not adminsiter it IM, orally or IV only, and yes I KNOW that its labelled for IM injection but I"m NOT willing to take the risk when oral is just as effective...) so I'd rather just not deal with him again, even to call and ask this question.

    Okay, so moving forward with supplementation:

    She will be going on green grass within the next month
    She is getting a guaranteed 1000 IUs per day from her ration balancer

    How much should I supplement?
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  8. #8
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    Default

    And one of the "indications" that there may have been a vitamin E issue is that she becomes more "normal" (but still not quite right) when on green grass for the summer, and then loses that normalcy shortly after green grass disappears for the season/winter.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  9. #9
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    Since you have a strong "not normal" sign, I would wallop her with something like Elevate WS for a month and see if anything changes.

    http://www.allivet.com/p-727-elevate...vitamin-e.aspx

    (Or the nano e stuff linked above.)

    If that works, either continue with it, or see if you can maintain "normal" on the same dose of something cheaper like the capsules from Puritans Pride.

    For a horse with a notable symptom, I am all about hitting hard with a serious product FIRST instead of screwing around and testing with something that may or may not be (as) effective. Once you have results, you can always try to maintain those results with cheaper options.



  10. #10
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    Any idea how many mL the Elevate bottle has in it? I'm trying to compare for cost comparisons
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  11. #11
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    I think it's safe to assume any horse that isn't eating fresh grass is going to be vitamin E deficient.

    Giving vitamin E shots is frowned upon by most vets unless the horse is in the midst of an actual myositis attack; oral supplementation only.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    Any idea how many mL the Elevate bottle has in it? I'm trying to compare for cost comparisons
    From the "manufacturer's label" tab on the Alivet site:

    236 ml (8 oz)

    This may also be useful (from the same place):

    FEEDING RECOMMENDATIONS
    Type of horse ml per day IU per day
    Maintenance 2 1000
    Stalled horses or horses maintained on poor pasture 2-4 1000-2000
    Intense training 6 3000
    Pregnant and lactating mares 6 3000
    Foals 6 3000


    Were I in your shoes, I'd go with the "intense training" dose.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    I think it's safe to assume any horse that isn't eating fresh grass is going to be vitamin E deficient.

    Giving vitamin E shots is frowned upon by most vets unless the horse is in the midst of an actual myositis attack; oral supplementation only.
    She is on fresh green grass all summer long, plentiful amounts of it. In the winter, hay only. And its in the winter when she is NQR more so than in the summer.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  14. #14
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    Default

    I have a 26 year old TB that I have on Vitamin E. He's on 24/7 pasture with green grass, but the vet recommended he be on it to help battle nerve degeneration. I just go to Sam's club and buy the $12 bottles and give him 5 pills a day = 5000 IU and he has been doing great. I buy two bottles and it lasts me over 2 months. I found it much cheaper than the powered supplement and he eats them just fine!
    Forrest Gump, 15, OTTB
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cswoodlandfairy View Post
    I have a 26 year old TB that I have on Vitamin E. He's on 24/7 pasture with green grass, but the vet recommended he be on it to help battle nerve degeneration. I just go to Sam's club and buy the $12 bottles and give him 5 pills a day = 5000 IU and he has been doing great. I buy two bottles and it lasts me over 2 months. I found it much cheaper than the powered supplement and he eats them just fine!
    You may want to confirm those are d-Alpha and not dl-Alpha. The dl is synthetic Vit E and the research indicates that it is not well absorbed. I cannot tell from the Sam's Club website.

    I use these from Puritan's Pride. They run sales all the time and I find it exceedingly cheap to feed.

    For something like the OP's case, though, where there is problem in the horse, I would want something produced by a reputable horse company and has been shown to be effective at upping serum levels in the bloodwork. Go right to the big guns that have been proven to be effective. Play around with cheaper alternatives when you've seen a response.



  16. #16
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    Default

    I also get the 1000 IU Vit. E from either Puritan's Pride or Swanson's Vitamins, depending on which site has the better sale or coupon.



  17. #17
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    I highly recommend reading this article re: vitamin E supplementation if you suspect a deficiency:
    http://www.cvm.umn.edu/umec/lab/vitE/home.html
    Good quality, bio-available vitamin E supplementation is pricey, unfortunately.
    *CrowneDragon*
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.



  18. #18
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    I used to feed the softgels of natural vitamin e from the vitamin shoppe, but then one of my mares started to spit it out. So now I mix a powder with coconut oil and alfalfa leaves from herbalcom.com. This powder is the best value around:http://www.scbt.com/datasheet-363243...Vitamin-E.html
    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

    "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    You presumably had some reason to suspect the horse was low, and I imagine you had some STRONG indications, or you would not have given an Vit E injection to start the process.

    So continue supplementing and see if the symptoms that caused you to suspect Vit E deficiency go away.

    Not supplementing and waiting a period of time for the injection to wear off accomplishes what? Sure, you'd KNOW for sure that she's low (if she is) but then you're dealing with the symptoms for an additional unknown amount of time before you can treat something that you're pretty sure she's got NOW.

    If Vit E supplementation were a fine art and was dangerous without a true baseline to fine tune the dosage numbers, it would be prudent to get a true starting number. But Vit E supplementation isn't a fine art, and supplementing a horse without a deficiency is generally harmless, other than a hit to the pocketbook. I get your desire and frustration for not having a baseline, but the window of opportunity has closed. Treat based on symptoms and go from there.
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