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A question on the absorption rate of vitamin E

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  • A question on the absorption rate of vitamin E

    I was wondering how long it would take for a horse that may be deficient in vitamin E to receive any benefit of a particular dose of it? My reason for asking is due to an experience I had today with my own horse. This winter I have been experiencing a lot of behavior issues that I was attributing to his hocks and stifles being NQR. Actually, every winter I have owned him, we have gone through this, this winter was just particularly bad. So after multiple searches on different topics, I came across several people posting about horses being deficient on this vitamin. I thought, giving him vitamin E is something that I haven't tried yet and it seems easy enough to try. I dropped two 200mg pure vitamin E capsules into his beet pulp yesterday, along with a handful of amplify for some fat (I believe E is a fat soluable vitamin).

    When I brought him out of his stall this morning, I could tell a difference in him and he was standing properly (his RH locks up). I was going to ride in the arena (he does better on the flat ground) but the footing was frozen. With some dread, I decided to join my sister on a hack around the farm and up and down the hills. He has been horrible this winter with the hills. For the first time since maybe mid- November, we had a really nice ride. He did not act up a single time, not even on the hills that have elicited the worst behaviors. He was happy and enjoying our ride. Oh, and he was over-reaching once again instead of his short strided walk. The vitamin E was the only thing that I did differently yesterday.

    Could a horse have that dramatic of a response to vitamin E in 24 hours time? Should vitamin E be able to help a horse move better and affect behavior? Or, am I totally off my rocker?! I put capsules in his Smartpaks so he will get them everyday this week and I can continue to monitor how he does while receiving the additional vitamin E. I wasn't sure if this was just a fluke or is there real science to this? Of course, sticky stifles and ouchy hocks will need to continue to be injected, but I am going to mention my little "experiment" to my vet and see what she thinks.

    Thanks for taking the time to read all this!

    Forgot to add: the bad behavior he was demonstrating would be kicking out with one hind leg generally escalating to bucking and then backing up. This typically would happen going down hill. It seemed like he was trying to adjust himself and then he would get really upset and almost frantic. I have checked my saddle, switched bits, and even began to feed him alfalfa pre-ride, thinking he could have excess acid, even though he gets Smartgut. So I think I have covered all the popular recommendations. Vet last checked him a month ago and we switched from Adequan to regular glucosamine injections (she had seen that work really well for some horses) and I took her suggestion and added MSM. He also gets Previcox daily. Spring, summer, and through mid-fall he is a very nice horse that I enjoy very much. Winter- not so much...
    Last edited by ex-racer owner; Feb. 20, 2011, 11:29 PM. Reason: added info

  • #2
    I am not a vet or a nutritionist so really I have no idea. That said, I cannot imagine only 400IU would do much good. The recommended dose is 2000IU for a normal horse, 6000-10000IU for a horse showing neurological symptoms.

    If it were my horse I would give 6000IU daily and see if you continue to see improvement.

    Is this horse on green grass also?
    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


    • #3
      My vet recommended 5000 IU per day. She also recommended using the liquid Vitamin E in a syringe, instead of powder, because it is absorbed easier and you can be sure they are getting it all. If you do get the powder, get the natural sourced powder- it's more easily absorbed.


      • #4
        Have blood pulled to see if he is deficient in Sel and Vit E. Had experience with a youngster who was and we supplemented. Saw results in about a month via blood tests, not much in the way of behavior or the way he looked....and he was *really* dangerously low. I'm thinking you just got lucky and had a good day/ride, nothin' wrong with that! LOL