Vitamin E Deficiency

Etiology:  Deficiency results from inadequate feed levels or is associated with vitamin A toxicity.

Incidence:  Incidence of vitamin E deficiency is low in laboratory rabbits.

Clinical Signs:  Rabbits show signs of reproductive failure with diminished libido and sperm production in buck.  There is neonatal mortality, and slow growth and muscular weakness in young rabbits.  Non-lop rabbits may have droopy ears.

Pathology:  Hyaline muscle necrosis is observed.

Diagnosis:  Rabbits will have low serum α tocopherol levels.  Levels < 0.5 µg/ml are indicative of deficiency.  Feed levels of tocopherol can also be measured.  Levels < 20 mg/kg are associated with deficiency.