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On The Bright Side 07-09-2011 08:49 PM

Vitamin E
Hey everyone! I just bought a horse today and right now, he is on a SmartPak with Vitamin E & Selenium. What does this do, and is it absolutely necessary for me to keep him on it? I really want to help keep the cost down!

Also I have to buy him a new winter turnout blanket. I live in New England- should I get a medium weight or heavy weight? Also would like to continue keeping the cost at a minimum :).

Please tell me anything I need to know!

walkinthewalk 07-10-2011 08:19 AM

Did you put him on the Vit E & Selenium or did his previous owner do that?

What was the reasoning?

Nothing wrong with Vitamin E as it boosts the immune system.

Selenium can be toxic. I know that pastures in some areas of the United States are very low in selenium and horses can be supplemented.

Selenium is also high in other areas of the United States and horses should NOT be supplemented.

My area is "just a tch" low and I do not supplement. My horses get enough in their vit/min supplements.

You also didn't mention what else this horse is being fed. If it's getting bagged feed, a certain amount of selenium has been added in.

The best thing to do would be to ask your vet if the Vit E/selenium is necessary for the living conditions your horse is in.

Vitamins and minerals should not be added to a horse's diet "just because someone said to" or because the previous Owner thought it was a good idea.

This is as much about helping the horse maintain good health (without over doing the supplements) as it is about saving money:-)

Hope this helps.

On The Bright Side 07-10-2011 09:51 AM

This makes a lot more sense. He is on bagged feed and will also soon be on very good grass, so I'll talk to my vet about what I should keep him on. Thanks so much!

Left Hand Percherons 07-10-2011 10:57 AM

Se is an essential trace mineral that helps regulate thryroid hormone metabolism, muscle function and is an antioxidant. Vit E facilitates the uptake of Se into cells as well as other functions.

Certain areas are very deficient in Se, NE being one of them. Feed stuff grown in these areas are naturally going to be extreemly low in Se. For horses on pasture or forage only diets in a deficient area they need Se added to the diet. Since you feed concentrates in addition, extra Se is probably excessive.

There is no RDA for Se but the general recommendation is .1mg/K of feed. So do some quick math. I'll make my life easy and just say your horse eats 22# (10 Kg) of feed per day. .1mg X 10 k= 1 mg/day. 18# hay plus 4# concentrates (.6ppm Se). The hay and pasture will not contribute much(only .1-.2 mg). The concentrate will contribute slightly more than 1 mg (.0006 X 454 (g/#) X4). You're covered. If you also feed a loose mineral/vit blend 1 oz will also contribute .2 to upwards of over 1 mg.

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