Horse vitamin deficiency – Here are 4 major signs

3 Feb, 2021

Horse vitamin deficiency – Here are 4 major signs

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If as a petowner you have every owned or still own horses you know that they need specialist care and attention.  Horse vitamin deficiency is rather detrimental and must be avoided. Here are some vital signs to look out for so you can take speedy action to care for your horse.

4 Signs that Your Horse Suffers from Vitamin Deficiency

Owning a horse is a privilege that most people cannot afford. Those that own horses need to take great care of them if they are to grow up to be strong and healthy. Just as with human beings, vitamins are a crucial component of a horse’s diet. A vitamin deficiency can have a devastating effect on the health of a horse. Horses eat grass which is where they get the vast majority of their vitamins from but they can also get vitamins from other sources. Supplementation is a great example in this regard.

horse vitamin deficiency
Caring for your horse is a priviledge

Receiving the proper and adequate vitamins is vital if a horse is to have optimal nerve function, immunity, and muscle function. The lack of vitamins can lead to more serious problems in a horse such as liver damage, visual deterioration, and Tie-up. The following are four major signs that your horse might be suffering from a vitamin deficiency:

Eye Disorders

The vision of a horse is paramount to its day to day life. It is especially so for a horse who regularly has to race or walk for long distances. You should constantly check your horse’s eyes to see if they are in great condition. It is very simple yet most horse owners never do it consistently.

You will be checking for brown pigments in the pupils of the horse’s eyes. The pupils should be consistently black when they are healthy. Such an eye deformity is symptomatic of a lack of vitamin E in the horse’s diet. Horses will typically receive all the vitamin E they need from the grass they eat.

However, the grass loses its vitamin E during some months which means your horse will no longer get the vitamin E deficiency. You can remedy the deficiency by giving the horse a vitamin E supplement or finding better grass.

Neurological Disorders

The brain of a horse requires adequate vitamins just as the brain of a human being. A neurological disorder in a horse is a strong indication of vitamin deficiency in horses. A vitamin deficiency in a horse will manifest itself in several ways such as a lack of balance. One of the Vitamin E and biotin benefits is that it helps develop the part of the horse’s brain responsible for balance and coordination. Poor physical performance is hence an indicator of vitamin deficiency in a horse.

The horse will have trouble standing upright or hopping as it usually does. The horse’s hind legs are especially susceptible to neurological disorders. There are neurological disorders that will cause the horse to tremble, hang their heads, or have trouble shifting their weight between legs. Such disorders include Equine Motor Neuron Disease and Equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy. You can prevent most neurological disorders in horses by adding vitamins to their diet. The higher the potency of the vitamins the better for the neurological health of the horse.

Muscle Disorders

A horse has some of the largest and strongest muscles in the animal kingdom. It is the reason man chose a horse as a means of transportation. A healthy horse should have strong and bulging muscles. Moreover, the horse should be able to move smoothly and gracefully if its muscles are working optimally. If your horse has a vitamin deficiency, your horse will develop some muscular disorders. It will manifest itself as muscular pain, soreness, or stiffness.

It means that not enough oxygen is being transported to the muscles when they need it. A lack of vitamin E is the cause for muscular disorders as it is the vitamin responsible for fighting free radicals in the horse’s body. The free radicals compromise the immune system which leads to the lack of oxygen delivery to the muscles. Dietary supplementation will also fix the muscular issues.

Coat Issues and Horse Vitamin Deficiency

horse vitamin deficiency
Maintaining your horse’s coat is vital

Most signs of vitamin deficiency in horses are hard to spot. However, there is one that should be easy for anyone who owns a horse. If you find that your horse has a dry coat or a damaged one, it may be symptomatic of a vitamin deficiency. The damage will vary depending on the level of vitamin deficiency. Coat issues that may arise from a vitamin deficiency include patchy fur, dry skin, inflamed areas on the skin, or a waning mane. If you see any of these signs, increase your horse’s vitamin intake and the coat issues should disappear soon.

The four signs above are the most common signs of vitamin deficiency in a horse. Horses are strong and resilient so it may take some time to notice the changes. If you see any of the above signs on your horse, you should call a vet and up the intake of vitamins.

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