Vitamin E is something Chance takes for her Discoid Lupus Erythematosus and her cataracts. She was started on it in 2014 after her DLE diagnosis per veterinary recommendation. We doubled the dosage in 2017 per the advice of her veterinary ophthalmologist to help try to slow cataract growth and help with her overall eye health.
Vitamin E (also known as: alpha-tocopherol) is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means it is stored in the fat tissue as opposed to any excess being excreted or eliminated in the urine and not stored by the body. It is found in many types of foods so it is uncommon to have an individual that has a Vitamin E deficiency and needs supplementation. It can be used topically on the skin or internally via liquids or capsules meant to be taken by mouth. It is a common ingredient in pet foods, pet treats, nutraceuticals, fish oil, etc. This is because it is added as a sort of natural “preservative” to help slow the rate of spoilage in these items that are meant to be ingested. Much of what is used commercially is from soybeans though there are some companies who use sunflower seeds. The Vitamin E Chance takes and that I use in aromatherapy is derived from sunflower seeds.    
Vitamin E is what is known as an “antioxidant.” An antioxidant targets the oxidation chain reaction that is caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that lose an electron which makes them unstable so they try to steal an electron from another molecule. Oxidation is simply the loss of an electron in a molecule and is responsible for the rust you see on metal and the browning of a cut apple. Oxidation causes atoms to break down and change which is good if you are using hydrogen peroxide to clean or a welding torch to cut metal but is not a good thing when it happens to the metal of your vehicle, the fruit you want to eat, or the cells inside your body. The phospholipids, phosphate-containing fatty substances, found in cell membranes are susceptible to attack by free radicals as they try to steal that lost electron and the resulting oxidation damage from this attack. When a free radical is created, it sets off a free radical chain reaction because, each time a free radical is created, it creates another and another and another until that chain gets disrupted or stopped. An antioxidant can give a free radical the electron it wants without becoming unstable and this helps stop more free radicals from being made and breaks that oxidation chain reaction.
Sources of free radicals include:
Because excess amounts of Vitamin E are stored in the fat tissue, it can possibly interact with some drugs and vitamin therapies and can act as an anticoagulant so it is important to consult with a veterinarian knowledgeable about Vitamin E and possible problems before starting your animal on it.
Health conditions that may contraindicate the use of supplemental Vitamin E include:
Signs of Vitamin E overdose can include:
Because it can increase the risk of bleeding by interfering with clotting, ask your veterinarian when to stop the use of Vitamin E prior to any planned surgery. I have seen estimates anywhere between 10 days and 2 months for stopping the use of Vitamin E.
 Free Radicals: Properties, Sources, Targets, and Their Implication in Various Diseases by Alugoju Phaniendra, Dinesh Babu Jestadi, and Latha Periyasamy
 Free radical reaction
 Vitamin E by Mayo Clinic Staff
 Vitamin E
 What is Oxidation? - Definition, Process & Examples Chapter 11 / Lesson 23 by Study.com
 Oxidation and Reduction Bodner Research Web, Purdue University
 Vitamin E by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University
This link leads to a website provided by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Chance’s Little Website is not affiliated or endorsed by the Linus Pauling Institute or Oregon State University.
 Is Vitamin E Good for Dogs? by David F. Kramer
 Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, 2nd ed. by Tisserand and Young; Appendix B: Examplesof drug substrates for CYP enzymes, pgs. 661-664
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information contained in these blogs is not meant as a substitute for veterinary care or as a replacement for advice or instructions given by a veterinarian. Contact your veterinarian before starting any over-the-counter products.
* Vitamin E
* Essential Oils
* DGP - Marine Collagen
* Vitamin C
* Fish Oil