Selenium status in adult cats and dogs fed high levels of dietary inorganic and organic selenium

S.E. Todd, S.E. Ugarte, D.G. Thomas, Guido Bosch, W.H. Hendriks

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Cats (Felis catus) maintain greater blood Se concentrations compared with dogs (Canis familiaris) and, unlike dogs, show no signs of chronic Se toxicity (selenosis) when fed dietary organic Se (selenomethionine) concentrations of 10 μg/g DM. This study investigated the response of cats and dogs to high dietary concentrations of sodium selenite and organic Se to determine differences in metabolism between both species. In 2 consecutive studies, 18 adult cats and 18 adult dogs of with equal numbers of each sex were fed a control diet (0.6 μg Se/g DM) or the control diet supplemented to 8 to 10 μg Se/g DM from Na2SeO3 or organic Se for 3 wk. All animals were fed the control diet 1 mo before the start of the study and blood samples were taken on d 0 and 21. The Se balance was assessed during the final week and a liver biopsy was obtained on the final day of the study. Measurements included plasma Se concentrations, plasma glutathione peroxidise (GPx) activities, plasma Se clearance, Se intake, and urinary Se excretion. No clinical signs of selenosis were observed in the cats or dogs, and apart from Se clearance, form of Se had no effect on any of the measurements. Apparent fecal Se absorption was greater in the dogs fed both forms of Se, while greater plasma Se concentrations were observed in the cats on both the control and supplemented diet (P = 0.034). Cats fed the supplemented diets had lower hepatic Se concentrations (P < 0.001) and excreted more Se in urine (P < 0.001) compared with dogs. Furthermore, cats fed the Na2SeO3 supplement had greater Se clearance rates than dogs (P < 0.001). There was no effect of species on plasma GPx activity. We conclude that cats can tolerate greater dietary Se concentrations as they are more efficient at excreting excess Se in the urine and storing less Se in the liver.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2549-2555
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Animal Science
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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