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Dezisa 02-27-2013 02:53 PM

Hypp N/H
I know there are people out there that believe that this is not a dominant trait and they are just carriers. Well hypp n/h is a dominant trait and horses affected can show signs!!

I have a horse I got off a friend that couldn't afford her. Two nights ago she had a severe hypp attack. I have her on a low potassium diet except for hay, because I don't know where to get anything but Timothy... She has never shown signs that we have caught until the major attack 2 days ago.

She is very lucky to be alive and I was looking for any experiences other people may have had and how often a major attack tends to be the only one you ever see or if it means I will be dealing with these attacks over and over again.
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Dezisa 02-27-2013 03:08 PM

I wasn't quite sure if this was the area to post this or not... But I would really really like some real life info!! You can look up information on hypp all day long, but I am looking for the real stories!!
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smrobs 02-27-2013 03:12 PM

I have never owned a horse that had HYPP, thankfully. My Dad did at some point over 25 years ago, but not much was known about the disease back then, certainly not how to properly care for and feed them.

Personally, I find it appalling that people still knowingly breed positive horses. Good for you taking the mare in and trying to do right by her. My guess, since she is symptomatic, you'll likely have to deal with recurring attacks.

Dezisa 02-27-2013 03:25 PM

We were not informed of this when she was purchased( my friend wasn't informed) but found it in her paperwork as we were reading thru it. She kept trying to tell me that she was just a carrier and it didn't matter... But I did lots of research and found out that she still has it weather or not she is a +/+ or a +/-!! I haven't dealt with hypp before and until this mare who is almost 4 came into our lives I had never even heard of it!!!

I have no intention of breeding her!! If anyone would ha e went thru the attack we went thru last night, they wouldn't want to go thru it anymore either!!!
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Dezisa 02-27-2013 03:27 PM

2 nights ago excuse me... Haven't had much sleep!! She has also been with us since just before she turned 2 and never anything that we have noticed!!
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Dreamcatcher Arabians 02-27-2013 03:28 PM

My only experiences with HYPP came from working for a Paint trainer as a groom. I was from Arabian & TB horse background, so I had never heard of HYPP nor did I know any of the signs and symptoms. She never told me that just about every horse in that barn was N/H at the very least. Nor did she, until one had fallen on me, tell me anything to look for, how to work with it, nada.

Stress, improper feed, just because can all be the triggers for an attack. I learned to look for fasiculation of the muscles, kind of like they twitch when flies land on them, but no flies in the area. I learned that when I saw that I needed to give an oral syringe of about 60cc of Karo Corn Syrup to the horse. The sugar reverses the improper flow of potassium in some cases and can stop the attack. I learned to hook a lead rope on the horse and unhook the cross ties. If the horse was still fasiculating after giving 2 syringes of Karo, I learned to get out of the way in case the horse went on to have seizures. Of course, I learned that from UNDER a horse who fell on top of me and seized.

After working there for several months, I learned that I'll never voluntarily have or handle an HYPP N/H or H/H horse again. In the case of the show horses I worked with, some had fairly frequent attacks, some more rare and I've been told that some N/H horses never show a sign. I've not ever seen that, or if I have, I didn't know the horse was N/H. I certainly would never ride one who has tested N/H and has had an attack.

Dezisa 02-27-2013 03:45 PM

Thank you for the input!! She not a show horse, but I see where you are coming from about not riding.. She showed signs of weakness before she ever went down, and she was very aware of where we were... She had no idea what was happening tho... I had an idea of what was going on from all my research!! I didn't have any Karo syrup so I wet twizzlers and coated them with sugar then sent my other half out to get some Karo!! I do believe that feeding her those twizzlers may have saved her life!! The poor girl isn't even 4 yet:( she' was doing very well with her training!! I just feel horrible about this and I know there isn't much more to be done than what I'm doing already...
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Saddlebag 02-27-2013 04:30 PM

The strange aspect of an hypp episode it is not fatal. The other strange aspect is that unless a vet can get samples during an episode but arrives afterward, all results will be normal. Prior to getting my hypp n/h I did a ton of research and had to sift thro a lot of b.s. I wrote to Purina inquiring if they had a low potassium feed that would be safe for an hypp n/h. They have a few so I opted for Senior's. These horses can also have oats and timothy grass hay is good. One doesn't feed apples and carrots for treats. Instead I opted for alfalfa cubes which I break up in to more of a wafer size. If you google hyperkalemia as it applies to people, it lists the highest to lowest levels of potassium in various foods. Carrots and apples are right up there. If you wish to feed them, cut them up and soak in water for 24 hours and the potassium will leach into the water. Now, what salt are you providing? No salt licks as the iodine is in the form of potassium iodide. Switch to pickling salt and see that she gets all she wants. Be sure to always provide plenty of water. You want to be sure she pees out the potassium she is taking in. And, she needs to be able to move, a lot, so stall times should be brief. When trailering any distance the horse should have acetazolomide, a diuretic beginning the day before and the day of a show or change of address. In 13 yrs my gelding has never had an episode but he has had a low potassium diet.

Dezisa 02-27-2013 11:49 PM


Originally Posted by Saddlebag (Post 1914855)
One doesn't feed apples and carrots for treats. Instead I opted for alfalfa cubes which I break up in to more of a wafer size. .

Everything I have read so far states that alfalfa is really bad... But thank you for everything else:) it is really great to get more info than I could find while researching!!
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Cherie 02-28-2013 12:28 PM

I can tell you for a fact that N/H horses can die from an attack. We have had friends that had horses die when they had their very first attack.

Alfalfa is a HUGE no-no for HYPP horses. It is one of the worst triggers. Molasses and sweat feed are major causes. Corn syrup would scare me.

Here is a excerpt from the UC DAVIS Vet School website.

Causes of an Attack:

Environmental factors can actually cause an attack of muscle weakness. Owners of HYPP-positive horses should be aware that external stimulus and events could increase the chance of paralysis onset. These factors include dietary changes, fasting, general anesthesia, and concurrent illness and exercise restriction.

Prevention and Control of HYPP Attacks:

Dietary management is extremely important in the management of affected horses. Dietary adjustments include (1) avoiding high potassium feeds such as alfalfa hay, brome hay, canola oil, soybean meal or oil, and sugar molasses and beet molasses, and replacing them with timothy or Bermuda grass hay, grains such as oats, corn, wheat and barley, and beet pulp; (2) feeding several times a day; and (3) exercising regularly and/or being allowed frequent access to a large paddock or yard. Due to the high water content of pasture grass, a horse is unlikely to consume large amounts of potassium in a short period of time if kept on pasture. If the horse is experiencing problems on its present diet, it is recommended to feed a diet containing between 0.6% and 1.5% total potassium concentrations.
I hope this helps.


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