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Vitamin E/Se deficiency

(NY) Vitamin E/Se deficiency. Two adult dromedary camels died over the course of 3 weeks. The first one died without any prior clinical illness noted and a necropsy was not performed. The second one died after being slightly "off" for one day and abnormalities were not appreciated on gross necropsy. The most significant histologic lesion was severe myocardial degeneration, necrosis, fibrosis and mineralization, which could have been consistent with ingestion of cardiotoxic plants, ionophore toxicity, or nutritional deficiencies in vitamin E and/or selenium. The animals were all housed on a dry lot, fed dry hay only and provided with salt blocks. Liver selenium for this animal was at the low end of the reference range for camels. Selenium levels in EDTA whole blood samples taken from additional live cohort animals ranged from mild to moderately deficient. About three weeks after the second camel died, a third adult camel on the premises presented with vague clinical signs including increased periods of recumbency. His serum vitamin E level was moderate to markedly low and he was diagnosed with presumptive Vitamin E deficiency. His clinical condition returned to normal following oral vitamin E supplementation. The remainder of the herd was started on oral vitamin E and selenium supplementation with the plan to recheck levels in 6 to 8 weeks. These cases highlight the importance of the interplay of selenium and vitamin E in the overall health of many species.