The Horse Forum banner

selenium deficiency

40542 Views 26 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  walkinthewalk
has anyone dealt with a horse with a selenium deficiency? what symptoms were presented and how did you come to the conclusion of a selenium deficiency? what did you do to rectify the matter?

just curious as i delve deeper into the specific nutrient contents of my horses' feed.
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
There are certain regions that are selenium deficient. Here is a map Selenium in Counties of the Conterminous States

If you are going to supplement with Se. be sure that it is the organic version known as Selenium Yeast, not the man made version known as Selenium Carbonate. The Selenium Yeast absorbs into the body easier, while the Sodium Selenite has been reported to do nothing.

You will know if it's the Selenium Yeast because it is a more expensive supplement!

Here is an article talking about Vit E and Selenium

Safe Vitamin E And Selenium Intakes

Horses can overdose on Selenium and it is NOT pretty (sloughing off hooves). I would suggest to have your soil or horses blood tested before putting your horse on any high dose of Selenium.

There is another thread where I commented on Selenium dosing and Selenium in general.

http://www.horseforum.com/horse-nutrition/selenium-how-much-per-day-132512/
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,801 Posts
Haven't had it, but just read about it:-0
Signs for deficiency in mild cases might be increased susceptibility to disease, due to a depressed immune system and/ or decreased fertility in breeding stock.
Severe deficiency, far less common, is characterized by weakness, impaired movement, difficulty in swallowing, impaired cardiac function and respiratory distress. Tying up also. White muscle disease in young foals.
Smart book says to find selenium levels in your soil, I.e. pasture, and where your hay is grown. There are areas where there are "pockets" of toxic or nearly toxic levels in the soil, most of the US and Canada are deficient.
"Because of the toxicity threshold of selenium is so low(between 2and5ppm), you should be aware of the selenium content of your local soils( and thus, your pasture and your hay) before you choose a vitamin E-mail and selenium supplement or a selenium-added feed for your horse". Even a mineral block needs to be checked. Your local agriculture extension specialist, co-op or feedstore is the best source of info.
(Source: "Understanding Equine Nutrition", Karen Briggs, revised edition 2010
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,800 Posts
I have dealt with it before.

My first symptom was with my gaming pony at the fair. He tied up severely, back was majorly arched, he could not walk. He was like one big contracted muscle from the shoulders back. Eventually we got him loaded into the trailer after 2 hours and got him to a vet.

Bloodwork (Complete Blood Panel) came back that he was severely deficient in Selenium and slightly dehydrated.

After that, we gave him a supplement (I wanna say Red Cell...) and he never had the tying up problem again.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
interesting. i've added a vitamin e and selenium supplement to my horse's diet at the recommendation of an equine professional. i've noticed that he's gaining weight however we'll see if the supplement will help his other issues - hitch in the hind end, lack of muscle tone, sweating without really exerting himself and an associated rapid heart rate.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,801 Posts
Uh oh....smart book says signs of selenium deficiency are : patchy sweating, blind staggers, colic, diarrhea, increased heart- and respiration rates if acute( for example when a horse is given Se injections). Chronic toxicity can cause hair loss, especially mane and tail, cracking of hooves around the coronary band and occasionally hooves slough off completely.
I'd have a close look at roughage and other feeds just to be sure there isn't a hidden source of Se somewhere. Better safe than sorry.....
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i've gone through everything that this horse is given feed wise and he's still getting less than the recommended daily dose of selenium by a long shot. if i quadrupled the amount of supplement he's given he'd still be below the "safe" high end ingestion limit.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,080 Posts
interesting. i've added a vitamin e and selenium supplement to my horse's diet at the recommendation of an equine professional. i've noticed that he's gaining weight however we'll see if the supplement will help his other issues - hitch in the hind end, lack of muscle tone, sweating without really exerting himself and an associated rapid heart rate.
At the reccomendation of an equine professional or a vet and blood work? Those are majorly different.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
he was muscle tested - applied kinesiology. my farrier/certified lameness specialist/holistic health/dynamite distributor was the one to suggest the selenium as he had the same issues with one of his TBs who also lost weight/muscle/etc when moved onto the local pastures here in OR where the selenium is almost non-existent in the soil.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
My friend has had 2 TB mares, both with Selenium deficiency. They were next to impossible to keep weight on them, she tried everything! She ended up getting blood tests done, and they were both Selenium deficient... so weird!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My friend has had 2 TB mares, both with Selenium deficiency. They were next to impossible to keep weight on them, she tried everything! She ended up getting blood tests done, and they were both Selenium deficient... so weird!
what specifically (if you know) has she done maintenance wise after that diagnosis?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
17,001 Posts
Here in Ok we're pretty deficient for selenium in the soil. Actually, it's pretty non-existent. I have noticed problems with tying up in some horses and in new borns, I've seen more instances of them being really 'down at heel'. I've started supplementing the mares in the last trimester of the pregnancy with a very small dose of ESe and I've not had a down at heel youngster since I started it. Anyone who ties up also gets supplemented very minimally, and I've not had problems since.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
crimsonsky - Her vet had to come out every 3-4 weeks to give selenium shots to the horses, you can also buy selenium shots from the vet if you don't want to pay for their trip to come out if you are confident enough to give them yourself.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Sorry -- Talked to her about this, the first few weeks the vet had to give them shots, then prescribed Selenium in a powdered form to add to their grain daily.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,319 Posts
Are you feeding anything else that has selenium added in addition to the one from Dynamite? Their supplement looks like it's not actually supplying all that much- 0.342 mg per 2 scoops (recommended dosage). That's only about a third of the minimum RDI for a horse getting 20 lbs of feed per day based on the NRC's recommendation of 0.1 ppm.

The maximum recommended dosage is 2.0 ppm (or about 18 mg for the same horse), so there ought to be enough headroom to supplement the full minimum 1 mg especially in a low selenium area like ours :)

Calculating Selenium Levels in Horse Feeds and Supplements - Southern States
 
  • Like
Reactions: deserthorsewoman
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top