Selenium and Vitamin E Concentrations in Miranda Jennies and Foals (Equus asinus) in Northeast Portugal
Animal and Veterinary Research Center (CECAV), Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
AEPGA-Association for the Study and Protection of Donkeys, Atenor, 5225-011 Miranda do Douro, Portugal
Genetics Department, Veterinary Sciences, Rabanales University Campus, University of Córdoba, Madrid-Cádiz Km. 396, 14014 Cordoba, Spain
The Worldwide Donkey Breeds Project, Rabanales University Campus, University of Córdoba, Madrid-Cádiz Km. 396, 14014 Cordoba, Spain
Instituto de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera (IFAPA), Alameda del Obispo, 14004 Cordoba, Spain
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
Received: 13 April 2021 / Revised: 8 June 2021 / Accepted: 10 June 2021 / Published: 14 June 2021
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.