Warning: Declaration of AVH_Walker_Category_Checklist::walk($elements, $max_depth) should be compatible with Walker::walk($elements, $max_depth, ...$args) in /home/donnam37/public_html/horsecurator.com/wp-content/plugins/extended-categories-widget/4.2/class/avh-ec.widgets.php on line 0

Warning: Declaration of AVH_Walker_CategoryDropdown::walk($elements, $max_depth) should be compatible with Walker::walk($elements, $max_depth, ...$args) in /home/donnam37/public_html/horsecurator.com/wp-content/plugins/extended-categories-widget/4.2/class/avh-ec.core.php on line 0
Vitamin E For Horses: Quick Facts - Horse Curator Skip to content
Call Us! 1-800-555-5555

Vitamin E For Horses: Quick Facts

Vitamin E is one of four fat soluble vitamins.  Fat soluble vitamins are stored within the body’s fat and liver and may become toxic if certain levels are reached.  Signs of vitamin E toxicity have not been produced in the horse though it has been produced in other animals.

Why Vitamin E Is Important For Horses :

  • Important for muscle function
  • Important for nerve function
  • Helps maintain a healthy and responsive immune system
  • Important for reproduction
Vitamin E For Horses

It is believed that vitamin E plays a vital role in muscle, soft tissue and nervous system health.

Signs Of Vitamin E Deficiency In The Horse:

  • Recurrent colds, coughs and running nose due to depressed immune system.
  • Muscle soreness and stiffness.
  • Increases the risk of exercise induced muscle damage.
  • Tying up.
  • Vitamin E deficiency has been linked with several neuromuscular diseases including equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy (EDM), and equine motor neuron disease (EMND). It is also believed that vitamin E plays a major role in muscle and soft tissue healing.

Signs Of Vitamin E Toxicity In Horses:

Vitamin E toxicity has not been produced in the horse. However, toxicity has been produced in other animals. Extremely high doses of Vitamin E are believed to interfere with the body’s ability to absorb and use other fat soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, K). Weak bones have been noted in other animals that have extremely high levels of the vitamin.

Vitamin E Sources For Horses:

Vitamin E found in fresh green grass and alfalfa. Good quality fresh cut hay starts with a good quantity of the vitamin. As the hay ages, the level of vitamin E depletes and supplementation may be needed.

Many commercial horse grains are fortified with vitamin E. As with hay, if the grain is stored for long period, the quantity of vitamin A depletes.

Vitamin E Supplements For Horses:

Vitamin E has gone from largely being ignored to one of the most studied and tested vitamins for horses.  Most nutritional experts agree that horses that have free access to green grass pastures do not need supplementation. They also agree that breeding mare and stallions, foals and horses under rigorous training and workloads will need a vitamin E supplement.

Horses that show signs of muscle weakness and/or neuromuscular impairment are often treated with large doses of vitamin E, but this must be done under the care of veterinarian.

Recommended NCR Daily Requirements of Vitamin E For Horses (2007):

(Note: Equine nutritionists agree that the National Center of Research’s recommendations lean toward the minimal  requirements to offset signs of deficiency. For optimal health, some experts recommend higher levels).

  • Maintenance: horses not under heavy work load
    • 1,000 pound (460 kg) adult horse – 460 I. U.
    • 1,100 pound (500 kg) adult horse – 500 I. U.
  • Performance and work horses
    • 1,000 lbs. (460 kg) – 828 up to 920 I. U.
    • 1,100 lbs. (500 kg) – 900 up to 1,000 I. U.
  • Stallions
    • Not breeding
      • 1,000 lbs. (460) – 460 I. U.
      • 1,100 lbs. (500 kg) - 500 I. U.
    • Breeding
      • 1,000 lbs. (460kg ) -  800 I. U.
      • 1,100 lbs. (500 kg) - 736 I. U.
  • Pregnant  mares
    • 1,000 lbs. (460 kg) – 460 I. U.
    • 1,100 lbs. (500 kg) - 500 I. U.
  • Lactating mares
    • 1,000 lbs. (460 kg) – 920 I. U.
    • 1,100 lbs. (500 kg) – 1000 I. U.
  • Foals
    • 6 months estimated weight 476 lbs. (216 kg) – 432 I. U.
    • 7 months estimated weight 522 lbs. (237 kgs) – 474 I. U.
    • 8 months estimated weight 567 lbs. (257 kgs) – 513 I. U.
    • 9 months estimated weight 606 lbs. (275 kgs) – 549 I. U.
    • 10 months estimated weight 641 lbs. (291 kgs) – 583 I. U.
    • 11 months estimated weight 642 lbs. (307 kgs) – 614 I. U.
    • 12 months estimated weight 708 lbs. (321 kgs) – 642 I. U.
    • 13 months estimated weight 736 lbs. (334 kgs) – 669 I. U.
    • 14 months estimated weight 765 lbs. (347 kgs) – 694 I. U.
    • 15 months estimated weight 789 lbs. (358 kgs) – 716 I. U.
    • 16 months estimated weight 814 lbs. (369 kgs) – 737 I. U.
    • 17 months estimated weight 833 lbs. (378 kgs) – 757 I. U.
    • 18 months estimated weight 853 lbs. (387 kgs) – 775 I. U.
    • 19 months estimated weight 873 lbs. (396 kgs) – 792 I. U.
    • 20 months estimated weight 891 lbs. (404 kgs) – 807 I. U.
    • 21 months estimated weight 906 lbs. (411 kgs) – 822 I. U.
    • 22 months estimated weight 919 lbs. (417 kgs) – 835 I. U.
    • 23 months estimated weight 934 lbs. (424 kgs) – 847 I. U.
    • 24 months estimated weight 946 lbs. (429 kgs) – 858 I. U.

It is important to remember when considering additional supplementation of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes or amino acids to consider all sources of hay, grain (nearly all grain is fortified) , grazing, and other supplements to ensure proper levels and avoid toxicity.