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Commentary

Selenium and Vitamin E Concentrations in Miranda Jennies and Foals (Equus asinus) in Northeast Portugal

1
Animal and Veterinary Research Center (CECAV), Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
2
AEPGA-Association for the Study and Protection of Donkeys, Atenor, 5225-011 Miranda do Douro, Portugal
3
Genetics Department, Veterinary Sciences, Rabanales University Campus, University of Córdoba, Madrid-Cádiz Km. 396, 14014 Cordoba, Spain
4
The Worldwide Donkey Breeds Project, Rabanales University Campus, University of Córdoba, Madrid-Cádiz Km. 396, 14014 Cordoba, Spain
5
Instituto de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera (IFAPA), Alameda del Obispo, 14004 Cordoba, Spain
6
Department of Animal Science, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95617, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Stephanie Hansen and Thomas W. Swerczek
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1772; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061772
Received: 13 April 2021 / Revised: 8 June 2021 / Accepted: 10 June 2021 / Published: 14 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trace Minerals in Livestock Production)
Despite the importance of donkeys through history and their productive resuscitation during the last decades, reference values for common elements are not yet readily available. Such a challenge becomes even more noticeable when practitioners aim at evaluating the physiological and pathological concentrations of certain elements across the different stages that a donkey can go through along its life. The aims of this study are to determine baseline selenium and vitamin E concentrations for Miranda donkeys both jennies and foals. Miranda donkeys are considered to be endangered and it is possible that selenium and vitamin E may be associated with foal survival. Critical points may be identified related to overdosing or deficient levels of selenium and vitamin E, at different stages of development of gestation in utero during fetal development, parturition, and post foaling. Our study suggests that vitamin E and Se levels can have a major impact and effect on foal health and mortality levels. Multiple factors including location, diet, management practices, parity and time of breeding, and age of jenny may affect blood profiles in jennies, which ultimately may affect the profiles of her foals.
The increase in donkeys treated by practitioners in recent years has led to an increased interest in finding more information on basic biochemical preliminary reference values. The aims of this study were to measure Se and Vit E levels in plasma from Miranda jennies peripartum and postpartum and in their foals to compare blood profiles of the jenny and foal related to the overall foal’s health. Twenty-two healthy peripartum and postpartum Miranda donkeys were sampled (12 jennies and 10 foals) in the northeast of Portugal (Atenor and Paradela) from May to November, 2018. Amounts of selenium in soil were significantly correlated (0.97) to concentrations of selenium in jennies (42.412 μg/L in Atenor and 9.612 μg/L in Paradela) and foals (19.378 μg/L in Atenor and 6.430 μg/L in Paradela). Selenium levels were lower in foals than adults and in males than females. Vitamin E was associated with overall foal health. Foals with a mean vitamin E of 3.585–5.307 mg/L showed signs of weakness, but carpal flexural deformities were observed when the average vitamin E was 11.520 mg/L. Low vitamin E levels (5.307 mg/L) in jennies were related to foal mortality. Diets, location, parity, and age affect blood profiles of jennies and, ultimately, foal health. View Full-Text
Keywords: foals; jennies; donkey health; pregnancy; lactation; selenium; white muscle disease; milk; vitamin E; donkeys foals; jennies; donkey health; pregnancy; lactation; selenium; white muscle disease; milk; vitamin E; donkeys
MDPI and ACS Style

Quaresma, M.; Marín, C.; Bacellar, D.; Nóvoa, M.; Navas, F.J.; McLean, A. Selenium and Vitamin E Concentrations in Miranda Jennies and Foals (Equus asinus) in Northeast Portugal. Animals 2021, 11, 1772. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061772

AMA Style

Quaresma M, Marín C, Bacellar D, Nóvoa M, Navas FJ, McLean A. Selenium and Vitamin E Concentrations in Miranda Jennies and Foals (Equus asinus) in Northeast Portugal. Animals. 2021; 11(6):1772. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061772

Chicago/Turabian Style

Quaresma, Miguel, Carmen Marín, Daniel Bacellar, Miguel Nóvoa, Francisco J. Navas, and Amy McLean. 2021. "Selenium and Vitamin E Concentrations in Miranda Jennies and Foals (Equus asinus) in Northeast Portugal" Animals 11, no. 6: 1772. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061772

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