Hepatic vitamin A and carotene levels in the newborn foal


Previous reports have indicated that at birth, the livers of calves, rats and rabbits contain very little vitamin A or its precursor carotene. A definitive report of the level of hepatic vitamin A and carotene in neonatal foals has not been found. To avoid having to sacrifice neonates, a cooperative collection program was initiated with local veterinarians to utilize livers from newborn foals that had not survived. The collection protocol was defmed as: a) the foal must have been born full term; b) the foal must have never nursed; and c) the foal must have appeared normal to a veterinarian or veterinary diagnos- tic laboratory. Ten whole livers were collected over a two year period. Liver samples were analyzed for total vitamin A and beta carotene. The mean (±SE) vitamin Alevelofthe ten livers was 20.7 ± 6.1 mcg/g of wet tissue. The beta carotene concentration in all livers was minimal: <4 mcg/g. The hepatic vitamin A levels of newborn foals are much lower than the levels that have been reported in the literature for mature horses but higher than those reported for newborn calves. © 1991, William E. Jones All Rights Reserved.. All rights reserved.


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Journal of Equine Veterinary Science