Fluctuations of serum vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), cholesterol, and total lipids were monitored in 12 horses at 3-hour intervals for 72 hours. Mean coefficients of variation were 12, 5, and 15%, respectively. Statistical analyses were used to conclude that instrumentation error was accountable for only a small portion of the vitamin E variation. Results indicated that a single serum sample assay is an unsatisfactory indicator of vitamin E status in horses. These data have clinical application in the evaluation of horses suspected to be affected with equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy. The large variance of serum total lipids and the lack of correlation of it with serum vitamin E over time preclude the use of vitamin E/serum total lipids ratio in assessing vitamin E status.