Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation






American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



Excess consumption of selenium (Se) accumulator plants can result in selenium intoxication. The objective of the study reported here was to compare the acute toxicosis caused by organic selenium (selenomethionine) found in plants with that caused by the supplemental, inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite). Lambs were orally administered a single dose of selenium as either sodium selenite or selenomethionine and were monitored for 7 days, after which they were euthanized and necropsied. Twelve randomly assigned treatment groups consisted of animals given 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 mg of Se/kg of body weight as sodium selenite, or 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 8 mg of Se/kg as selenomethionine. Sodium selenite at dosages of 2, 3, and 4 mg/kg, as well as selenomethionine at dosages of 4, 6, and 8 mg/kg resulted in tachypnea and/or respiratory distress following minimal exercise. Severity and time to recovery varied, and were dose dependent. Major histopathologic findings in animals of the high-dose groups included multifocal myocardial necrosis and pulmonary alveolar vasculitis with pulmonary edema and hemorrhage. Analysis of liver, kidney cortex, heart, blood, and serum revealed linear, dose-dependent increases in selenium concentration. However, tissue selenium concentration in selenomethionine-treated lambs were significantly greater than that in lambs treated with equivalent doses of sodium selenite. To estimate the oxidative effects of these selenium compounds in vivo, liver vitamin E concentration also was measured. Sodium selenite, but not selenomethionine administration resulted in decreased liver vitamin E concentration. Results of this study indicate that the chemical form of the ingested Se must be known to adequately interpret tissue, blood, and serum Se concentrations.

Included in

Dairy Science Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.