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Note for Pet Owners

This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Vitamin E is an important essential dietary constituent for cats, dogs and all other pets 

Vitamin E has some important roles to play in the body, including :

  • It acts as an "antioxidant" and is important in stopping body fats from going rancid
  • It is important for normal  muscle function
  • It is important for normal  reproduction
  • It may be important in disease resistance

Vitamin E is present in many foods (eg vegetable oils, cereal products, green plants, liver and eggs) as tocopherols or tocotrienols and the amount needed by an individual increases if fat intake in the food increases. If a large amount of unsaturated fat is eaten with only low intake of vitamin E - disease such as pansteatitis (also called "yellow fat disease") can occur. This is seen most often in cats fed a mainly fish ration.

a-tocopherol is a natural antioxidant and stabilises carotene and other oxidisable substances (eg fats) in food or in the body, so it is widely used to prolong the shelf-life of human and pet foods.

In the body vitamin E is stored in the liver and all body tissues.

A deficiency of vitamin E can lead to :

  • Poor reproductive performance
  • Muscle disease (dystrophy) and weakness
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Inflammation of body fat (called pansteatitis) in cats
  • Brown pigmentation of body fat (called  lipofuscinosis)

Too much vitamin E causes a loss of appetite.


Updated October 2013