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Vitamin E Supplementing?

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  • Vitamin E Supplementing?

    Can anyone tell me about vit E supplementing - my trainer does it, some don't, why does a horse need it, what happens if they need it and don't get it, etc.? I don't know if I should be adding it to my horse and also is vit E related to selenium, is that needed, and in what circumstances? Thanks, I'll take my answer off the air (heh heh).
    My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

  • #2
    Vitamin E is present in green grass, but doesn't last long after hay is cut, which is why many people chose to supplement with it.

    At one point before I owned her, my mare was deficient in vitamin E, and she lost weight and had a very dull coat. She's generally an extremely easy keeper, so weight loss was a big red flag that something was wrong. If left untreated, vitamin E deficiency can eventually result in nerve damage and neurological symptoms. Deficiency can be diagnosed by a blood test.

    Since my mare had a problem in the past, I supplement her and her daughter with vitamin E. Since doing so, her levels have been good. The vet told me that if I fed her too much, she'd just pee it out, so I should just give it to her all the time.

    My mare gets a pelleted vitamin E supplement, "Super E" by Equishine, but that's mostly because she's an easy keeper and a picky eater, but she'll eat those little pellets plain. Many people have success with buying the inexpensive vitamin E capsules for people, though.

    My horses also get a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement because they don't eat much grain. It contains a little selenium, so I don't give them any additional selenium since that's something that can be harmful if levels are too high.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland

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    • #3
      Alot of race trainers will give supplemental Vitamin E and Selenium to help prevent a horse from tying up. I find proper feeding, along with lots of turnout and taking the time to warm up and cool down a horse works the best. My horses do get Vitamin E in their feed because they all get Cocosoya....it is good for their overall muscle health.

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      • #4
        I use the water soluble vit e with my epm horse but this is great for a horse in work. Love their products but if you go here to this site it will tell you all about it. Why they need it and where it comes from etc.
        http://kppusa.com/all-products/eleva...enance-powder/
        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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        • #5
          Its an important anti-oxidant in fresh grass, but not so much in hay. Mine get a 1/2 dose of the SmartE whenever there's no grass for them to graze on. I only give them 1/2 because they are on a fortified grain, but only get the minimum amount of grain required with free choice hay if they don't have access to fresh grass.
          Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
          Witherun Farm
          http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            I give it because there's basically no grass to be had in all of Illinois right now, and FeedXL said my mare is deficient. I just give her two human gel capsules. Works fine, and it's supposed to be good for skin, too.

            I know Vit E and Se go hand in hand.. I bought a mineral block with Se in it but the dang thing melted the one day we had rain. WHOLE block melted! So now I'm trying to figure out how I can add just Se, since I already have the Vit E covered.
            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
              I give it because there's basically no grass to be had in all of Illinois right now, and FeedXL said my mare is deficient. I just give her two human gel capsules. Works fine, and it's supposed to be good for skin, too.

              I know Vit E and Se go hand in hand.. I bought a mineral block with Se in it but the dang thing melted the one day we had rain. WHOLE block melted! So now I'm trying to figure out how I can add just Se, since I already have the Vit E covered.
              Hmmm...FeedXL can't tell if your horse is deficient! Only a blood test can tell that. However, FeedXL can tell you if you're area is low in Vitamin E & Selenium and how to balance accordingly.

              I asked my vet about deficiencies, because I'm also in a deficient area. My horses were not getting anything but pasture. He said that just because we are in a deficient area, doesn't necessarily mean that my horses have a deficiency. I could either test them to see, or just put them on a daily supplement. I chose the supplement.
              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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              • #8
                One very important thing to remember: the horse's body cannot absorb vitamin E without selenium. However, while research has shown that there is virtually no toxicity threshold to vit. E (I've read reports where horses were administered as much as 50,000 IU in tests--and the "average" supplement only contains anywhere from 1,000-5,000 IU), selenium has a very low threshold for toxicity. No horse, even if your soil is deficient in selenium, should get more than 4 mg of selenium a day.

                So while you need the one to utilize the other, you need to be aware of how much selenium is already contained in your horse's feed, mineral block, etc. Because of this, I supplement with just plain natural vit. E. Not only is it good for when there is no/not enough fresh grass available, but it has also proven to be very beneficial for both breeding mares and stallions and is an excellent source of antioxidants. It's also needed by gestating and lactating mares to pass onto their foals to help prevent white muscle disease, etc.

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                • #9
                  Im pretty sure that Se requires Vit E for proper absorption, not the other way around.

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                  • #10
                    Most Vit E and selenium supplements have too much Selenium per Vit E concentration.

                    My horse is borderline EPSM.
                    He gets a Vit E/Selenium supplement plus 14 400mg vit E capsules per day. Human Vit E from the dept store.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pely View Post
                      Most Vit E and selenium supplements have too much Selenium per Vit E concentration...
                      And, what is the correct concentration?

                      I'm feeding VitaFlex E & Selenium. It has 1 mg of Selenium, and 1000 IU's of Vitamine E per serving (daily).
                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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                      • #12
                        Vit E should be fed at least 5000 mg per day. Most combined supplements only have @ 1000 mg per day.

                        If you increased the amount of supplement so that the horse gets 5000 mg, there would be a great risk of selenium overdose.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pely View Post
                          Vit E should be fed at least 5000 mg per day. Most combined supplements only have @ 1000 mg per day.

                          If you increased the amount of supplement so that the horse gets 5000 mg, there would be a great risk of selenium overdose.
                          5000 IUs?
                          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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                          • #14
                            Vet told me 5000 IU's too.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LeisaA View Post
                              Vet told me 5000 IU's too.
                              Same here.
                              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by LeisaA View Post
                                Vet told me 5000 IU's too.
                                I often do 2500 when the grass is green, and 5000 when it's not. And that's on top of the 1500 that's in the regular multivitamin/mineral pellet.

                                If my mare was not such a ridiculously easy keeper, I probably wouldn't feed any additional E when she was on green grass. But as it is, she only goes out on grass for maybe 6 hours a day (~3-4 hours in the morning, and two in the evening), and is in the dry lot the rest of the time.
                                "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                                -Edward Hoagland

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                                • #17
                                  is there any difference in bio availability in the different Vit E's?

                                  also, do folks find their horses will eat the gel caps whole?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                    is there any difference in bio availability in the different Vit E's?

                                    also, do folks find their horses will eat the gel caps whole?
                                    Recent studies have shown that the natural form of vit. E (d-alpha tocopherol) is more readily absorbed by the body than the synthetic form (dl-alpha tocopherol).

                                    I've used the human gel caps before, and only one out of my four guys would sift them out; the rest would just scarf them down with the rest of their feed.

                                    ETA: Found a good overall article about vitamin E and selenium here: http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=1542
                                    Last edited by Real Rush; Aug. 23, 2012, 11:43 AM.

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                                    • #19
                                      My mare is very picky and eats the gel caps no problem.
                                      Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thanks for all the info and the link - appreciate it.
                                        My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

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