What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is not only essential to human health but it is also an important vitamin connected to horse health.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, but it also does more. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it can be stored in the body for a long period of time. There are many misconceptions about vitamin E. Vitamin E deficiency causes muscle weakness and pain but it is not usually a serious condition.
The yellow vegetable oil is a precursor of gamma-carotene, which gives vegetables their bright yellow color. The skin of a vegetable provides its most concentrated sources of vitamin E. Vitamin E also exists in animal sources of fatty acids such as meat and dairy products.
Though vitamin E is abundant in animal products, its effects are different from plant-derived vitamin E.
Vitamin E contains inositol, which is an aromatic compound used for energy metabolism. It is non-enzymatic, meaning it doesn’t require an enzyme to create, store or break down.
What are the Signs of Vitamin E Deficiency in Horses?
A horse that is unable to perform its daily activities because of a vitamin E deficiency has a reduced lifespan.
There are several signs of a vitamin E deficiency that indicate a real problem.
1) Dental disease. An abnormally white or yellow stained gums could be the result of vitamin E deficiency.
2) Dysfunction of hair follicles. One of the main signs of a vitamin E deficiency in a horse is an abnormally dry or greasy hair coat. This could be the result of a body immune system being unable to regulate its hair growth.
3) White, yellow or brown lesions. Another sign of a vitamin E deficiency in a horse is a white or yellow patch of hair. This patch can be the result of the immune system of the horse having been unable to regulate its inflammation.
4) A vitamin E deficiency in the skin and fat can be very uncomfortable and can lead to a number of problems. But it is important to recognize and treat it early as it can lead to the horse’s skin and fat tissue looking red and flaky.
5) Over the course of time, the horse will begin to look thin, lethargic and develop mucus in its breathing passages and nostrils.
If the symptoms are ignored, the horse can eventually go into kidney failure, a condition called oedema. A vet may then recommend emergency dialysis to save the life of the horse.
Vitamin E is a key vitamin that supports proper functioning of the skin, mucous membranes, gastrointestinal tract, and more. Vitamin E has been used for many years as a general skin or disease supplement and is considered an excellent choice for general health.
Everyone should supplement their horse with this vitamin as it can have a large benefit on overall horse health.
Have you given your horse vitamin E supplements?
For more information on Equine Nutrition and Health visit AnimalNutrition.com