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Cornell Vet. 1990 Jul;80(3):251-8.

A survey of whole blood selenium concentrations of horses in Maryland.

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Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742.


We surveyed the whole blood selenium status of a randomly sampled population of horses from 4 contiguous counties in northern Maryland. Two hundred and two horses from 74 farms were sampled. Whole blood selenium levels greater than or equal to 0.100 parts per million (ppm) were considered adequate; blood levels less than 0.100 ppm were considered marginal or deficient. The average blood selenium concentration of the horses sampled was 0.137 ppm, with a standard deviation of 0.041 ppm. Blood selenium concentrations ranged from 0.050-0.266 ppm. Thirty-eight of 202 horses (18.8%) had a selenium level less than or equal to 0.099 ppm. Twenty-one of 74 farms (28.4%) had at least 1 horse with a selenium level less than or equal to 0.099 ppm. Animal husbandry practices had a significant influence on selenium status. Horses were more prone to having an abnormal selenium status if they were either maintained on pasture or used infrequently, or if their diet did not include mineral and vitamin supplements.

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