Being one of two vitamins that horses cannot produce with their own bodies, vitamin E is a vital part of a horse’s diet. It is paramount for nerve and muscle functions, immune response, and antioxidant action in horses. A deficiency of vitamin E causes muscular dystrophy; or weak muscles that aren’t receiving enough oxygen. It also leads to further complications, such as Tie-up, Polysaccharide storage problems, liver problems, eye disorders, and immunity issues. Because of this, vitamin E in dietary supplementation is a necessity for any horse owner. While horses generally receive their vitamin E from grass, studies have shown that grass in most parts of the country has contained zero vitamin E since mid-October. Here are a few ways to identify if your horse has a vitamin E deficiency.
Detecting a deficiency is difficult, but a clear sign of a vitamin E deficiency is a dry or damaged coat or skin. Characterized by patchy, dry, and inflamed fur, skin, or mane, these symptoms are signs that your horse needs more vitamin E in their diet.
A great indicator of vitamin E deficiency in your horse is damage to the horse’s eyes. If you see brown pigment in their pupils, it is a warning sign of vitamin deficiency. Additionally, this damage worsens in horses if left untreated.
If your horse seems to be experiencing muscle pain, stiffness, or soreness, it is a warning sign that there is not enough oxygen is being introduced into the muscles. This is due to a lack of vitamin E, which is the horse’s defense system against harmful free radicals, which attack the horse’s immune system and hinder oxygen uptake.
A dead giveaway that your horse is vitamin deficient is if it is having trouble balancing. When a horse cannot stand or hop on 3 legs or has trouble remaining upright, especially on its hind legs, it may be experiencing neurological disorders. One example is Equine Motor Neuron Disease, which will cause trembling, recumbency, low head carriage and shifting weight between legs. Another condition is Equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy; which affects a horse’s brain stem and leads to the necessitation of euthanization. These problems are avoidable entirely with high amounts of vitamin E in your horse’s diet.
Health-E contains numerous benefits for your horse and is the most tested and highest potency vitamin E supplement on the American market. It beats the price of the other products on the market at only 0.84 cents a day. Health-E is also the only horse vitamin in the USA that is tested low in sugar and carbs, so it is safe in Cushing’s and Insulin resistant horses. It also still holds the world record for the highest Vitamin-E levels found in a horse after uptake, which were five times over the baseline.
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