DOES YOUR HORSE EAT ONLY HAY/SUPPLEMENTS? NO ACCESS TO GREEN GRASS, like mine? Well, they most probably need Vitamin E (I didn’t know…) Read this and see.

A few months ago, we helped two horses who were suffering a great Vitamin E deficiency.  Remember?   Chatterbox and Blue.

Well… I got to thinking… I had a mastiff who passed from an elusive muscle disease when he was still a puppy.  After the necropsy, it was determined that he had a Vitamin E deficiency.  And, if we had determined that in time, we could have helped him.


Why wasn’t this on my vet’s radar?  I figured it was rare or a fluke or… dunno.

But then when I heard about Chatterbox and Blue, I did research on Vitamin E deficiency – and I thought I’d pull you all in on what I discovered.

My Norma and Dodger are elderly with Cushings… I just purchased Vitamin E for them.

BRIEFLY, I WILL STATE WHAT I THINK after doing some reading (I have a great article in the next section.)

Here is what I have determined for my horses:

  1.  Vitamin E is sourced through green grass.  Most grass hay only has remnants of Vitamin E when it is fresh.  The longer the hay sits, the less the Vitamin E.
  2.  As a horse ages, Vitamin E helps with ‘older horse’ diseases like Cushings.
  3.  Young horses who may have a genetic tendency to not absorb E well, benefit from supplementation.
  4.  Often Vitamin E deficiency is misdiagnosed as a muscle wasting disease.  And, muscle wasting disease protocol is often large doses of Vitamin E
  5.  You cannot overdose your horse on Vitamin E
  6.  HOWEVER, you can overdose your horse on Selenium… and Vitamin E and Selenium are often together.  Your horse may need selenium, but the amount of Vitamin E with the selenium is not much of a benefit… so best to dose these two separately.  Or to add E separately so as not to overload the selenium
  7.  Read the label!  For Vitamin E to be stabilized and actually work for your horse, it has to go through a few processes (which makes it more expensive).  Look for the words, “Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate” which means it is stabilized.
  8.  If your horse is already showing neurological signs of Vitamin E deficiency, you can help them but it is not curable or reversible at that point.  So, dose them NOW, before you see signs.

This is what I purchased – and where for the best price today – upon the recommendation of Darla from Strawberry Mountain Mustangs who rescued and treated Chatterbox and Blue.


I found several articles on Vitamin E for horses, but I thought this short, succinct article written by for Holistic Horse was the easiest to understand.

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Only one comment so far...

  1. Patricia Greenstreet

    Please cite your sources. Dr Valberg 2018 “Supplementing Horses With Vitamin E” (do Google search for that article) in both Vitamin E Deficient Myopathy and EMND can be reversed if caught and supplemented early, and it may take several months for symptoms to dissapear.

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