NOT HYPP?? What Could It Be--Pls HELP!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 06-23-2011, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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NOT HYPP?? What Could It Be--Pls HELP!!

I have a 25 yr old QH mare, Sheena, that is Impressive bred on both sides. She was moved to a new barn over Memorial Day weekend this year. A few weeks before moving she got her 5 way shot, a strangles vac, and West Nile. Her arthritis has been getting a bit worse so I called a chiropractic vet out yesterday afternoon to look at her and give us advice on how to make her more comfortable.

When the vet was first doing the lameness exam she moved off stiff and so he did some adjustments on her back end, nothing major. She seemed better, he finished the exam, told me what he thought and I put her in her stall while I went out and got the bill. I paid, we chatted for a few minutes, and he drove off. I walked into the barn to check on Sheena and she was down, in her stall, on her side, muscles tense and kind of twitching, and covered in sweat.

I called the vet back, and the barn owner tried to help me get her up with no success. The vet came back and gave her a banimine shot and still wouldn't get her up. I had told him that she was Impressive bred (and that I had never had her tested for HYPP and that she had never had an attack in the 20 years that I had owned her), but the vet said it must be HYPP and gave her calcium. We tried to get her up again and she fell in the stall. He ended up giving her calcium 2 more time IV and we were barely able to get her the 25 (staggering) steps to the indoor where she collapsed.

Sheena was down all night--she would sit up on her chest to eat hay for a while, then lay back down flat like it had exhausted her. We thought she was getting shocky so called another vet out for fluids and a second opinion. That vet had no idea what was going on but gave her some steroids and bute IV with the fluids.

All night she was out flat, then would try to get up, kind of kick her hind legs, then fall back down on her side. The chiro vets said she was having an HYPP attack and had to come out of it.

Finally in the morning the vet came back and I insisted he do some back readjustments in case it was a pinched nerve or something, which he did with her laying down. We got her on her feet for a couple of minutes but she could barely stand, and then she lost her balance and fell.

I decided enough was enough and she was put down around 8 am this morning. I pulled some hair to be tested for HYPP, just so I could know for sure. I called the AQHA about testing and they looked her up and just told me that BOTH her parents are N/N, so she can't have HYPP.

I have owned this horse since she was 4--she was my oldest friend and the reason I survived some tough times in my teen years and I am completely devastated by losing her, but it's even worse having it be in such an awful way with no answers--does anyone have any ideas what this could have been??????
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post #2 of 21 Old 06-23-2011, 03:55 PM
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I was going to say that a horse can go it's entire life without an attack and then have one out of the blue if it carried the gene but at the very end, you said both parents are N/N. So yes, your horse can NOT have HYPP.

Was the chiro really a vet or was it a technician or someone trained in Chiro? I ask because the calcium isn't what a vet would normally treat with if they thought a horse was having an HYPP attack. I believe they also would have given Ace over banamine.

I'm thinking that your first assumption that a nerve may have been tweaked was more on target for what happened...?

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post #3 of 21 Old 06-23-2011, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by farmpony84 View Post
I was going to say that a horse can go it's entire life without an attack and then have one out of the blue if it carried the gene but at the very end, you said both parents are N/N. So yes, your horse can NOT have HYPP.

Was the chiro really a vet or was it a technician or someone trained in Chiro? I ask because the calcium isn't what a vet would normally treat with if they thought a horse was having an HYPP attack. I believe they also would have given Ace over banamine.

I'm thinking that your first assumption that a nerve may have been tweaked was more on target for what happened...?
The chiro is an actual vet. He insisted that the calcium was the best thing to give, even when I asked him what else we could give her. He gave her a TON right after we found her down to get her into the arena. He said that if he gave her anymore at that time her heart would stop.

He was in the process of giving her more this morning when I decided to have her put down. her vein on one side was blown from the IVs and he could barely find it on the other side--she was starting to struggle and I was afraid that she would have to be put down anyway and he would be able to find a vein and it would prolong her suffering.
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post #4 of 21 Old 06-23-2011, 04:12 PM
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First off, I am very sorry for your loss. What a tragic way to have to let a friend go.

I would think that it has either something to do with the calcium or the adjustment, possibly a combination of both. For it to set in so suddenly after an adjustment, I would think that was the culprit. We don't know enough about equine chiro yet to say that it is always harmless and always helpful.
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post #5 of 21 Old 06-23-2011, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sillysally View Post
The chiro is an actual vet. He insisted that the calcium was the best thing to give, even when I asked him what else we could give her. He gave her a TON right after we found her down to get her into the arena. He said that if he gave her anymore at that time her heart would stop.

He was in the process of giving her more this morning when I decided to have her put down. her vein on one side was blown from the IVs and he could barely find it on the other side--she was starting to struggle and I was afraid that she would have to be put down anyway and he would be able to find a vein and it would prolong her suffering.
That is horrible. I am so sorry to hear that. I am sure that you did what you felt was best for your beloved horse.

There are a couple things that can be mistaken for an attack such as Tying Up Syndrome, Seizures, and then Cardiac problems. I think that's why it took so long for them to realize HYPP was a disease in itself.

There are several things that seem to help during an HYPP attack:
  • Very light exercise - hand-walking
  • Carbohydrates - plain corn, light corn syrup, or even sugar will help. Avoid feeds with molasses added, as molasses is high in potassium. Sugar prompts the body to release insulin, which in turn has the effect of moving potassium back into the cells.
  • Acetazolamide. This is a diuretic (makes your horse urinate) that also promotes the loss of potassium in the urine.

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
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post #6 of 21 Old 06-23-2011, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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I asked him specifically about a diuretic because I had read something about it online suring the night (I was doing as much research as I could on my phone as there is very poor cell service there) and he said that "lots of people think that is what you give but that is wrong," or something to that effect. i took him at his word because I didn't really know any better.
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post #7 of 21 Old 06-23-2011, 08:23 PM
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He's your vet. You trust him. I am sure he did the best he could with what he thought he was dealing with. Again, I am sorry for your loss.

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-23-2011, 08:49 PM
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Condolences on the loss of your horse. How was her health before this collapse? You said she was arthritic, was she still sound enough to ride?
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-23-2011, 09:01 PM
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I am so sorry for your loss. I have no idea what it could've been. Hopefully you can get closure on this somehow.
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post #10 of 21 Old 06-23-2011, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
Condolences on the loss of your horse. How was her health before this collapse? You said she was arthritic, was she still sound enough to ride?
I had not ridden her in a few years. I am on the heavy side and even on her not-so-stiff days I didn't want to stress her joints by riding her. I was just giving her a good retirement. Other than the arthritis her health had actually been improving over the last 6 months. She had gone through a period of us having a hard time keeping weight on her but she had improved to the point that few people at the barn believed she was 25.
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