Vitamin E serves as a powerful antioxidant to maintain many normal body functions of the horse. The vitamin is important to many areas of the horse’s body, including the eyes, neuromuscular system and reproductive tract. Of course, there are likely many other ways that it serves the body that haven’t yet been determined! Do you […]
Selenium What is considered optimal for horses? Horses need between 1 -3 mg per day. Recommendations are closer to 3 for optimal health. The guidelines for concentration in the total feed are .1 to .3 ppm. Essentially if a horse ate 10 kgs (2% of bwt for average horse) they would get the right amount. […]
Written By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D. Let me tell you about Bugsy. He was an Appendix Quarter Horse I rescued a few years ago. When he came to me, he was significantly underweight, suffered from an old stifle injury, and had a distrustful attitude. A few months later, he’d filled out, was running up and […]
The B Vitamins by Dr. Kris HineyThis month we will conclude our discussion of vitamins with the B vitamins. There are many vitamins that are traditionally referred to as the B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxal phosphate, panthothenic acid and cobalamin. You may even associate them with their “numbers” so to speak: B1, B2 etc. These are all water soluble vitamins which can be synthesized by the microbial population of the hindgut of the horse. In many circumstances this microbial synthesis of vitamins is adequate to support normal physiological functions in the horse. However, under some conditions, supplementation of these vitamins becomes necessary. Unfortunately relatively little is actually known about the true requirements of the horse for many of these vitamins. We will primarily focus on the vitamins which have the most information available; thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and biotin.
Vitamin C by Dr. Kris HineyPreviously, we have discussed two important fat soluble vitamins which serve an important anti-oxidant function in the horse, vitamin A and E. We will continue to discuss anti-oxidants as we transition to the water soluble vitamins essential to the health and well-being of the horse. As humans, we are probably very familiar with vitamin C or ascorbic acid/ascorbate, as it is a commonly supplemented vitamin. After all, who hasn’t reached for an orange in order to get their share of this important vitamin (Despite the fact there are many more nutrionally dense sources of vitamin C!)? People often turn to vitamin C during times of stress or illness, especially the common cold, to try and fight off pathogens. But what does vitamin C do in the horse, and should you be supplementing it?
Vitamin K – By Dr. Kris HineyThis month we will wrap up our discussion of the fat soluble vitamins with a vitamin that is not discussed all that often in regards to horses, vitamin K. Vitamin K is actually a family of fat soluble vitamins from both plant and animal origins. Vitamin K in the diet occurs in the form of phylloquinone, which is found in plants. Phylloquinone can be converted to menaquinone via intestinal bacteria, or by other tissues within the animal. Menaquinone is the active form of the vitamin for animals. Most people recognize vitamin K’s role in blood clotting, but it is also a part of bone metabolism, vascular health, and even brain metabolism.
Vitamin E by Dr. Kris HineyWe have already discussed two of the fat soluble vitamins in a horse’s diet. This month we continue with a closer look at vitamin E, a vitamin which is commonly supplemented to horses for a variety of reasons. It is often used for aging horses, horses which have muscle disorders and horses which undergo strenuous exercise. But how do you know if your own horse needs more vitamin E in its diet?
Vitamin D by Dr. Kris HineyLast month we began a discussion of what we currently know about the vitamin requirements in horses. Unfortunately, the actual vitamin requirements for a particular horse are often hard to define. Most vitamin requirements represent the amount needed in the horse’s diet to prevent the classic deficiency symptoms. However, as stated previously, that may not be the same as the amount required for optimum health, well-being, or even performance. It is certainly possible that the vitamin requirements for the horse might also alter with their stage of life, work load and management. With this in mind, we will continue our vitamin discussion with the fat soluble vitamin D and what we currently know.
Vitamins in Horses – Vitamin A by Dr. Kris HineyThis month we will begin a series examining the function of vitamins in the health and well-being of horses. We will also discuss natural sources of vitamins which occur in the horse’s normal feed, as well as different forms which are offered in supplements. Finally, we will look at the latest research on vitamins in equine nutrition. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of information regarding vitamin requirements in the equine. While recommended intakes have been established for vitamins A, D, E, thiamin and riboflavin, all others essentially fall into the category of educated guesses. Often equine nutritionists must rely on published information in other species, and extrapolate that to the equine. These suppositions may or may not be valid, but often allow the only approach available.