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-   -   Anyone heard of HyPP? Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis? (

riccil0ve 04-03-2009 11:22 PM

Anyone heard of HyPP? Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis?
HyPP stands for Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis. It's a genetic disease in horses that has been traced back to a champion AQHA stud Impressive. Impressive is Ricci's [my horses'] paternal grandfather. Impressive died from HyPP.

I decided to look it up. Episodes of HyPP are basically seizures, from mild to severe, lasting from a matter of seconds to several hours. When horses die from this, it's because it paralyzes the muscles of the heart of lungs, and they have a heart attack, or suffocate. However, an episode can also be a twitch in the muscles that can't be seen by the human eye. HyPP basically makes too much potassium for the horses body to handle, causing the episodes I mentioned earlier. They say it's possible it can be managed in N/H or H/H horses [N/H horses got the gene from one parent, H/H got it from both, and N/N is negative] by getting the hay and grain and pastures tested for potassium levels, saying you want no more than 1%.

Impressive was N/H, and statiscally would pass the gene along to 50% of his offspring. So there was a 50% chance that Ricci's sire had it. The HyPP gene is a dominant one. I managed to look up Ricci's sire and found that he was N/N, so Ricci doesn't have it. I'm going to have her tested though, just to be sure.

However, I was appalled to learn that people are knowingly breeding HyPP positive horses, and even more upset that the registries aren't really doing anything about it. HyPP horses typically make great halter horses because of their build, something to do with the potassium I guess. [My horse was never good in halter.] AQHA ruled that H/H horses cannot be registered, but nothing was said about N/H. And I'm sad to report that the APHA hasn't made any rulings regarding HyPP. [My horse is registered to APHA.]

I guess I just wanted to let everyone know about this. I imagine most people have never even heard of it. But I'm putting this out there for all you horse lovers. I want anyone who's unaware to be aware. While some horses can lead a long productive life without so much as an episode, the chances are just as good that it's life will be short and traumatic. HyPP isn't restricted to just QH's and Paints either, it says Arabians, Appaloosas, Pintos and other stock breeds may be at risk. Any horse that has Impressive in it's bloodlines. Here is the website I got most of my information from, I found it really informative.


appylover31803 04-03-2009 11:27 PM

I know all about Hypp, My app mare is NH. Though she is being managed on diet and she's never shown any symptoms.

Thanks for posting this and btw, I love that website. Gives so much good info.

riccil0ve 04-03-2009 11:31 PM

Well thank god for that! Like I said, not all horses show symptoms, and some never do. I just think it's something people should think about, not just skip over it like it's just "some disease."

Eastowest 04-04-2009 12:53 AM

>>>> Impressive died from HyPP.

Ummm, Impressive lived until he was 26 years old, and he sired 24 foal crops. All accounts I have read or heard was that he himself didn't show HYPP symptoms, and died of old age.

Also, purebred Arabians are not at risk-- partbred or half Arabs who's other parent is from a stock horse breed might be at risk.

Not posting this to minimize HYPP-- but having questionable/inaccurate statements alongside IMO otherwise informative information could hurt the credibility of the rest of your post.

Vidaloco 04-04-2009 08:50 AM

My husbands horse died from it so yes, we know all about it. We knew nothing about it before we found out she had it though. That was about 6 years ago and the information was still being slightly veiled by the AQHA. Thanks for posting the information.

riccil0ve 04-04-2009 04:12 PM

Maybe Impressive didn't die from HyPP, that was just what I read. Anywho, the point I was trying to make was that HyPP can kill. And I also said that some horses can go their whole lives without ever showing a symptom, but they can also go 15 years and all of a sudden have a really big episode.

And I said any horse with Impressive in it's blood could be at risk. So if a horse, any horse, doesn't have Impressive bloodlines, it obviously isn't at risk. Maybe I didn't state that part clear enough.

Vidaloco 04-04-2009 05:23 PM

If the horse is tested N/N then it does not have the genetic defect, and can't pass it on.
It is great that more information is available than there used to be. Fancy was our first horse and we were stupid first time horse owners. If we knew more at the time I'm sure she would still be around today. We will never own another quarter horse or any dilution of one because of it though.

county 04-04-2009 06:10 PM

Any Impressive horse that is N/N is not at risk in any way its only rumors that some people beleive that they are. Either a horse has HYPP or it doesn't they can't sorta have it any more then someone can sorta be pregnant either you are or your not.

appylover31803 04-04-2009 07:22 PM

Vida, I'm right there with you. I love Vega very much, but if I had to do it over again, I would have passed over her.

Eastowest 04-04-2009 10:15 PM

>>>> We will never own another quarter horse or any dilution of one because of it though.

IMO, that is a pretty extreme view to take on a defect that is 100% detectable by a simple test that costs 1/2 the price of a set of horseshoes, which only occurs in ONE bloodline in a breed with literally millions registered.... it is TOTALLY avoidable.

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