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How much selenium do puppies require?
The important role and the effects of selenium became clearer over the last 20 years in several species, especially in large animals. But what about puppies? The current recommendations for the puppy are based on extrapolation from other species (0.11 mg Se/kg diet). Is this really what puppies require?

The purpose of this study was to experimentally determine the Se requirement in puppies.

Thirty beagle puppies (average = 8.8 weeks old) were utilized in a randomized complete block design with age, litter and gender used as blocking criteria.
Puppies were fed a low Se (0.04 mg Se/kg diet) torula yeast-based diet for 14 days (pre-test period) after which this same diet was supplemented with five levels of Na2SeO3 for 21 days (experimental period) to construct a response curve (0, 0.13, 0.26, 0.39 or 0.52 mg Se/kg diet).

Response variables included Se concentrations and Se-dependent glutathione peroxidase activities (GSHpx) in serum as well as serum total triiodothyronine (TT3), serum total thyroxine (TT4) and serum free T4 (FT4).

No significant changes in food intake and body weight gain occurred, and no clinical signs of Se deficiency were observed.
A breakpoint for serum GSHpx could not be determined in our study due to analytical difficulties. A broken-line, two-slope response in serum Se occurred with a breakpoint at 0.17 mg Se/kg diet.

When Se from the basal diet was added to this estimate, the breakpoint for serum Se equated to 0.21 mg Se/kg diet. TT3 increased linearly with increasing Se intake, whereas TT4 was unchanged.

However, the ratio of TT4 : TT3 decreased linearly in response to supplemental Se.

In summary, although we estimated the selenium requirement for the puppy based on serum Se, our 0.21 mg Se/kg diet estimate is higher than that seen for adult dogs, kittens, rats or poultry (0.13, 0.15, 0.15 and 0.15 mg Se/kg diet respectively). This difference may be due to the fact that GSHpx was used as the biomarker of Se status.

Source: Wedekind, K. J., Yu, S. & Combs, G. F. (2004): The selenium requirement of the puppy. In: Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 88 (9-10), 340-347.




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