Determination of Vitamin E status and supplementation for the Nyala (Tragelaphus angasi)


Graffam WS, Irlbeck NA, Grandin T, Mallinckrodt C, Cambre RC, Phillips M. 1995. Determination of Vitamin E status and supplementation for the Nyala (Tragelaphus angasi). In Proceedings of the First Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Scarborough, OT.


High incidence of white muscle disease in captive nyala has lead to speculation that they have high vitamin E requirements. Maintenance of nyala is often achieved through high vitamin E supplementation. Injectable vitamin E has been administered monthly (750 IU/injection) at Denver Zoological Gardens for years as an effective method of preventing vitamin E deficiency related deaths, yet, was evaluated to be effective in raising plasma vitamin E levels for only ten days post- injection. Four adult female, two juvenile females and one juvenile male nyala were trained to be bled in a handling crate designed to reduce stress. Animals were trained, using food rewards as positive reinforcement, to be bled biweekly. Baseline plasma vitamin E values were determined to be similar between individuals. Animals were supplemented with oral forms including: liquid water miscible vitamin E plus rice-hull powder (RHE) (1000 IU/d/group) in Protocol 1, liquid alone (500 IU/d/group) in Protocol 2, and caramelized vitamin E powder (CBE) (50 IU/d/animal) in Protocol 3. Preliminary results of liquid oral supplementation, show an increase in blood plasma vitamin E four fold higher than baseline. Protocol1 had lower response than either protocol 2 or 3. Protocols 2 and 3 stimulated peak blood responses greater than injections and longer in duration due to daily administration. Orals are easier to administer than injections which require labor, personnel and stress to the animals. Oral supplementation was intended to reduce labor involved in vitamin E administration and was determined to be most effectively accomplished utilizing WM sprayed on the food items.

Determination of Vitamin E Status…Nyala.pdf     4 MB