What does Selenium deficiency cause in horses?

What happens if a horse has too much selenium?

Well, a horse has too much selenium if she starts to have strange, brownish-colored marks, similar to sunburns, all over her belly and rear end.

Sometimes the problem is so severe that it actually kills the horse. (You would think there might be alternative treatments for thissuch as Vitamin E supplementsbut no. And you would think it would be easy to spot too much selenium if you were looking at the selenium level in the waterand this can be confirmed. When I tested three different states for selenium, one of them, Missouri, had almost twice as much selenium as the other two states, New York and Colorado. And yet not a single horse had these problems, which could only mean that the water was selenium free.

### How Much Fish Oil Is Good? This is a huge problem right now, especially since the omega-3 fats, also known as fish oils, have been the topic of all the media hype. In short, this is simply impossible. If you feed your horses the most natural and safest diet ever, the natural diet consisting of grass and hay and nothing but this diet, then feed them fish oil, some of the nutrients in the fish oils will stick to the fats in the grain of the grass and hay. Therefore, you are going to eat fish oils or flax seeds daily, or any other fish oils, with the exception of flax seeds, and you are going to eat them like crazy. I've been doing it for months and months, and my horses are still getting healthier every day! For more information on nutrition and human health, go to www.DrWeil.com.

### What Happens to Your Skin If You Don't Wash It for Weeks? So what happens to skin if you don't wash it for a week or two or three or four? Well, I've tried this myself. It's really disgusting. If you can't wash yourself for a week because you are under a desert sun, your butt crack will look like road killyour skin will be full of bumps, and you will be able to see all the dried urine that oozed out of you for weeks. All the bumps go away when you get home, but you need to rinse them off first.

What does Selenium deficiency cause in horses?

You may well ask that question since you have probably done everything possible to support your horse in gaining adequate nutrition, and yet he fails.

The answer may very well be selenium, since most equine studies have this mineral identified as a major contributor to the development of laminitis.

In order to better understand why horses fail due to selenium deficiency, we must look at the body's use of the mineral, how it impacts the brain and nervous system, and how it may lead to the development of laminitis in some individuals. How can selenium be bad for horses? Most of the work that's been conducted on the beneficial or detrimental effects of selenium has been focused on its effect in the human body, specifically the brain and nervous system. Since horses' bodies are so different from humans, we should not make blanket statements about the positive and negative effects of selenium; however, some of what we know about the human body applies to horses.

The horse's brain and spinal cord contain high amounts of selenium-containing enzymes and selenoproteins. The enzyme glutathione peroxidase is one example of a selenoprotein. It helps protect the brain and spinal cord from the free radical damage associated with oxidative stress. There is extensive crosstalk between selenium-containing antioxidants and other antioxidants, which makes it difficult to tease apart the effects of selenium and the protective effects of another antioxidant, such as glutathione, on the brain and nervous system.

A healthy horse has adequate levels of selenium in the brain and spinal cord. However, when the levels are too low, oxidative stress and the free radicals associated with it damage cell membranes, proteins, and lipids, or break down cellular structure.

Laminitis is a disease process in the horse, and laminitis is considered one of the best indicators of poor nutrition and subclinical selenium deficiency. Selenium protects against oxidative stress, which may be one of the reasons why selenium supplementation is indicated when horses develop laminitis. Horses that receive inadequate amounts of selenium over a long period of time will likely demonstrate low bodyweight, decreased muscle mass, and impaired immune function.

What are the symptoms of selenium in horses?

Selenium is a trace mineral that you can't live without.

Your body needs it for muscle growth and good health. Many horses develop signs of selenium poisoning when they eat a lot of selenium-containing feed.

Selenium can make your horse feel sick when the levels are too high. Horses that eat selenium-containing feed may also develop a condition called selenium toxicosis. When horses have selenium toxicosis, their bodies need selenium, but the selenium doesn't get into the cells where it can do its good work.

Why is selenium important for horses? It's very small and you only need a little bit to do a lot of good things. You need some selenium for muscle growth. It helps make a protein that is called myelin. Myelin coats the nerve fibers in your brain, spinal cord, and nerves. It makes it possible for messages to be sent from one part of your brain to another. Without myelin, your brain and spinal cord would be an uncoordinated mess.

If you are a horse owner, you probably understand how much time and energy your horse uses just to do the things that he needs to do to stay alive. That's why he needs selenium.

Selenium is necessary for the formation of the selenoproteins. A selenoprotein is a protein that helps the body take up and use selenium. If the levels of selenium in the body are too low, selenoproteins may not function as well as they should. Low levels of selenium may lead to problems with muscle development and growth.

The more selenium your horse eats, the better the selenoproteins will work. Your horse should be getting at least 1,500 micrograms per day. A microgram is about the amount of selenium in one grain of rice. If your horse eats lots of selenium-rich foods, his selenium levels should stay healthy.

What are the symptoms of selenium toxicity in horses? If your horse eats selenium-rich feeds, his body takes the selenium from the feed and sends it to places where it needs it.

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