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Re: [RC] Vitamin E/Selenium supplements - Susan Garlinghouse, DVM

Patti, I agree in general with your comments (and thanks for doing the
math!), although I don't think you necessarily *always* need to check serum
selenium levels before supplementing.  I'm okay if just adding some to the
ration, if you aren't already supplementing with a significant amount of a
Se supplement, and you either live in a Se-deficient area or at least have a
reasonable expectation of not getting your hay from a Se-excessive region
(generally very unlikely if your hay comes through a broker or reputable
grower), if you're seeing reasonable signs that additional supplementation
is called for, and your horse shows no signs of current Se toxicity (mane
and tail hair falling out and/or big horizontal ditches in his feet).  Yes,
you can get into toxic levels, but you actually have to feed quite a lot for
an extended period of time before you run into trouble.  Alot more than 6
mg/day for the vast majority of horses, anyway.

I know, it's ideal and a very good idea to check serum levels before
supplementing, and I would not ever supplement with an IM injection without
a prior check.  Checking se levels isn't that expensive (about $20) but a
client commented the other day that it all adds up by the time you're done
with the ranch call fee and so on---so, I'm trying to be a little more
sensitive to that, at least for today. :-)

Anyway, I wouldn't be too concerned about adding some additional Se to the
horse Josleyn described, probably 2-3 mg/day for a month or so, and THEN
checking selenium levels (or not, if the cramping issue is solved).  I'd
also add an add'l 1000-2000 iu of vit E into the ration aside form whatever
is already in the Se-E mix.

I agree with Patti that there are other minerals that could potentially be
an issue, but for now, trying out some additional Se-E is a good start.

I also agree with the comment that trace blocks shouldn't be counted on to
provide anything other than salt.  Couldn't comment with the Moorman Quad
block, not particularly familiar with them.

Susan G, DVM


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[RC] Vitamin E/Selenium supplements, Patti Kuvik