HYPP Survival Guide

How to be prepared for and deal with a horse affected by HYPP.

How to be prepared for and deal with a horse affected by HYPP.

Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis is a serious muscle deficiency in horses that causes muscle twitching, weakness and more.

Learn all about this dominant genetic disease in AQHA’s FREE HYPP Survival Guide report.

In 1996, AQHA designated HYPP a genetic defect and undesirable trait. Two years later, the Association added that all Impressive-descendent foals born after January 1, 1998, were required to be tested for the disease and parentage verified for registration, with the results placed on the registration certificate. Since 2007, any horses tested as H/H are not accepted for registration with AQHA. Find out why in the HYPP Survival Guide.

Also in this detailed report,  you’ll learn:

  • Definitions of HYPP’s three designations: H/H, N/H, and N/N.
  • Symptoms of HYPP
  • Prevention tips
  • Signs of an attack and what to do to keep your horse safe
  • Feeding suggestions for HYPP-positive horses
  • How to test your horse for HYPP

The most-common symptoms of HYPP include muscle tremors, weakness, muscle cramping, yawning, depression, an inability to relax the muscles, sweating, prolapse of the third eyelid, noisy breathing and/or abnormal sounds or whinnies.

HYPP cases usually start with muscle weakness and prolapse of the third eyelid, sweating and minor tremors most commonly in the flank, neck and shoulders.

More severe attacks can involve severe weakness, high heart and respitory rate, staggering, dog sitting and collapse. In its most extreme form, HYPP can lead to collapse and death, usually from a heart attack or respiratory failure.

Be prepared for situations involving HYPP-positive horses by downloading the HYPP Survival Guide today. This FREE report will give you the knowledge to identify symptoms and react accordingly to a horse experiencing an attack. You’ll also learn steps to preventing HYPP attacks, such as stopping frequently on road trips to give your horses a break and reduce their stress levels.

Download the HYPP Survival Guide Report for FREE!

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14 thoughts on “HYPP Survival Guide”

  1. EPSM or PSSM (Equine Polysaccharide storage myopathy) Related to HYPP?

    Hi there, thanx for taking the time to read this.
    I’m not a vett. But someone who lost in a short notice 3 horses and probably because of this. My vett told me that this is related with hypp.

    Please read this carefully, i don’t want anyone else to go true this. And sorry for my poor english.

    In march 96 i bought a beatiful mare Pretty Tessa#3199242. She was imported from Kentucky to the neterlands and had all kinds of damadge because the plane had to make an emerengy brake.

    Beacause of that she was very stiff (I thougt) in her hips.

    After a couple of months ,i got her pretty good. When i trained her to much, she became again stif in the hips.
    At that time i had a lot of contact with the breeder and she told me that the father of my mare allready died Pretty peppy burner 2676303 beacause of a car accedent.

    My mare has anccestors who are nows for carring hypp. But she was resulted negative. N/N

    So she got her first foal. Pretty midnight Zan 4011415. He got his 2 hind legs in the gated and freeked out. He got really stif at both hips. But he was also hypp N/N For a year i went to several horseklinics, But no one could help my little colt. I had to put him down. It was the only humane ting to do.
    This was number one.

    After a couple of years i bred her to golden boy 3617802. This filly was totaly different in her walk trot and lope. Im confident that this mare is good. I’ve sold her with a good feeling.

    I kept the same problem with my mare, stif in her hips. But we bred her again and now with Magic Power special 3340017. Again a beatifull black stallion. I could’nt be more happy. But after a couple of months, i saw somthing very disturbing. Stiff and weird in the hips. But when i kept traing relaxed and not to heavy, i went pretty good. Beacause of the former experience i had a total scan made of his skeleton. Everything was good! I was so happy… But my disutbing feeling didn’t go away.

    My mare became stiffer and stiffer.. nobody could tell wat it was.. Now she also had an other problem, long problems.. So i als had to put her down last spring. This mare was my best friend, She was the best horse trainer ever. My first child gone!

    My beatiful colt beacame the most gentle staollion you have ever met. Whe could just let him eat the gras in the front yard with the children, hye would’nt look up ore misbehave.

    But 10-09-2009 My worst nightmare beacame true. We woke up, my youg stud was lying in the pasture, not like hypp weak… no totaly hard. Like a toy horse who had felt over.

    His back was really dirty so at this point we thougt coliek. We got him back on his feet and he was so cold!
    The vett from a big horse hospital came and he was also confinced at this point that it was koliek (Tummy pain) So he got real pain killers and parafinne right in his stomage for this. This was 8.00 am. It should be beter at 2.00 pm.
    Well.. Not.. after an houre and a half.. the pain was back. My husband had allready left for work, my kids were at school. So i started walking with him again. A friend close by cam and she also had a weird feeling with this case. We were taliking it over and he dropped himself again. We tried to get him up again. But with the 2 of us we could’nt do a thing. The vett told us to come to the horse hospital as soon as possible. With 5 man we got him in the trailer. Butat least on his feet. One stayed in the trailer. We got him to the hospital.
    I told the vett to look furter becouse i didnt think it was coliek. That i was thinking more like HYPP. He was more reacting like mondaysicknes. they took al kinds off tests, and it wasnt HYPP. But wat is it. He got al kinds off drip. But in a couple of hours he got worse and worse. He was totally tieing up. He beacame solid as a rock. After 6 hours het ried to get up and pee.. It was like red wine. and then blood.. I lost him….

    The believe that it is EPSM.

    Now ive been thinking. Is it possible that hypp mutateds into this so that we can’t tested it. But every body needs to know about this.

    I also think that it is more dangerous for stallions then mares.
    Becouse of pretty peppy Burner ( i don’t belaeve anymore that it was a car accident), pretty Midnight Zan, magicly pretty and my very best friend Pretty tessa.

    The stallions was very clear. But the mare. Lungs are also muscels, And her weird stiffness.

    I’ve you want to do something with this,
    I kept some hair with roots from him (Magicly Pretty).
    Ive you want this to do dna testing on it. you can have it. But ive you’re not. Then i keep his hair.

    But really.. do something with this information…I’m hoping i can be off anny help. I do not want anyone els to go true this….
    It’s every horse lovers worst nightmare.

    When im feeling a little better. The papers of my mare and stud will follow. But can i please have ther papers back? I want it with there foto’s on the wall.

    Diana

  2. Hi Diana
    I just read your distressing story and believe i can shed some light on the subject.
    In New Zealand horses graze a lot on pastures which get very high in potassium. I used to think that the symptoms they showed resembled those of HYPP but not as severe. I am now sure this is the case. They get stiff, especially behind and get noisy breathing too. I would like to talk to you more, please give me your phone #.
    In the meantime on my website http://www.horsemanshipnz.com is an article called “More Mysteries Solved”
    Let me know what you think.
    Kind regards
    Jenny

  3. I have a question about a foal that is tested HYPP H/H. Is it in the best interest for the foal and the owner to have the foal humanly euthanized? Sincerely V.Mc

  4. Does anyone know why this Survival Guide recommends NOT feeding HYPP horses Canola Oil? It does not have potassium, so I don’t know why it would be dangerous for an HYPP horse to ingest?

  5. I am hoping someone can help me with my HYPP N/H horse. Nine months ago at nine years old he had his first attack. It was a sever attack he was down for 48 hrs. The first 24 hours we thought he had tied up since I was told by the breeder that the stud was not HYPP positive. After 24 hours we decided to treat him as if it was HYPP and I sent some hair off for a test. We continued to pump fluid into him and after 48 hours he still wasn’t on his feet. We knew we had to get him up so with the help of some very devoted friends we got him on his feet. He peed within the first 10 minutes and it was brown. He peed again about 20 nminutes later and it was clearer. After 2 hours he was stronger and we were able to take the straps off.

    The vet suggested we take him off of sweet feed and change him to Fat and Fibre. There was no mention of putting him on medication or testing his hay. We thought we had it managed but unfortnately he had a mild attack a few months ago. We called the vet and were told not to worry that the management was working since it was just a mild attack.

    Three days ago he had another sever attack and he was down again in his stall with his whole hind end paralyzed again. We started treatment right away with a different vet. After 24 hours, medication and 25 litres of fluid over a 24 hour period we were still unable to get him to his feet. The vet suggested we get him to his feet the way we did the last time and with straps, block and tackle we were able to get him up again. He did the same thing peed alot and then his muscles seem to unlock and he began to move around again and as he got stronger we were able to take the straps off.

    The vet changed him to oats and we tested the hay and found out the potassium is 1.98. He is also going to be on medication to help manage the potassium.

    Can anyone give me any insighted on why he is having so many severe attack as a n/h horse and is the hay to high in potassium. can anyone else give me suggestions as what else we need to do. We are all struggling to understand why he is having so many attacks

  6. To Cheryl:

    We had a mare for awhile that was N/H. Unknown history, so we didn’t know whether she’d ever had an attack; we were the ones who tested her and confirmed she was N/H. So, we just treated her as if she *could* have an attack. No alfalfa, only mixed-grass hay. Pasture 24/7; the moisture in grass is supposed to help keep the system flushed, plus the ability to move around supposedly is better than keeping them in a stall. White salt licks; no red mineral blocks, no stall toys that might contain potassium. It’s not just your grain you have to watch, it is everything that they might ingest, including supplements…I would say your hay is high, especially if he’s not getting much pasture or not drinking enough to flush out his system.

    We hauled this mare all over the place and rode her pretty hard and she NEVER had an attack. We kept the light karo on hand just in case but never needed it. Maybe we were lucky, maybe we were proactive enough to prevent anything from happening.

    Also, stress can trigger it. (IDK where you are located, but if your weather has been as strange as ours this spring – temperature swings, etc, could be that has been enough to trigger him). Has anything else changed in his life (different buddies, different routine, less riding/more riding?) I’ve read that you can go ahead and add the light Karo to feed with a horse that’s had attacks, and it is supposed to help prevent additional attacks. Maybe someone else can speak to that…if I’m remembering right, the dosage is 60cc’s?

  7. We feed all NH horses a high fat ration as well as dry shredded beet pulp in each feeding and ALWAYS have light Karo syrup on hand ( store brand is fine too). We only use Karo as needed, but rarely need it. NH horses are also exericised daily if nothing else… a hand walk for 15 or 20 min. Or a turn out. The reason for the dry beet pulp is that it makes them thirsty and water intake is key to control. I keep 2 water buckets in each stall as well. They also seem to do better on high fat rations. We DO feed alfalfa as well with few issues, but if your not fitting for halter or prefer grass, thats a safe way to go for sure. I find that stress and feeding time is often when Ive seen signs if the horse is affected or symptomatic. If your horse is symptomatic, learn the signs during the early stages.. many times this is simply a tremor in a small place like the flank. Can be on one side only. Sometimes they just seem to breath heavy/ deeper/ louder which is what some refer to as roaring. At this sign, give 60 -days 120 cc in the mouth of Karo and walk. The excercise helps and helps get the Karo into its system faster. Once theyve urinated, your in the clear. Ive found that with some, a 1/2 cc of ace sometimes helps or even simply brushing them to get them to relax in the early stages only. Dont use ace if your going to show soon. It will test. Management is key here which includes alert observation. If you know something will be a stress, like going to a show… put them on Karo a day or two before and keep them on it until you get home. Karo is pretty cheap. To increase the fat in our rations, we use rice bran or rice bran oil. Ive not tried canola or corn oil.
    Good luck! 🙂

  8. Hi Cheryl – We manage two N/H horses. One is just now 3 and one is 9, both have had episodes with the 3 yr old being the worse of the two. Your feeding “goal” for potassium (aka Vitamin K)is 1% of their total ration. We manage our two by keeping them on a complete type feed, in our case we use Omelene 400 which is 1.25% potassium. You can also use Purina Senior which is 1% postassium, both of these feeds are complete with forage so we don’t feed any additional hay. I am on the west coast, and if you want to still feed hay and grain seperate, there is a company called King Feed. They carry a product called carb-o-raider, low potassium. They’ve formulated it specifically for HYPP horses as a replacement for the grain in their diet.
    Items you need to steer clear of in their diet include carrots, molasses, alfalfa (and other legume hays), colored mineral/salt blocks, etc.
    In case your vet hasn’t explained what/how HYPP works … an HYPP horse has a faulty gene that interferes with their ability to produce a chemical to “turn” their muscles on and off. Sodium and potassium turn the muscles on and off. HYPP horses have problems with potassium getting “stuck” which makes their muscles keep firing (translates to the seizures you see) and not turn off. This is where light Karo syrup and good hydration come into play. A large dose of light Karo syrup (glucose) will “push out” the excess postassium in the muscle tissue and help slow down or stop the seizures. Making sure the horse is well hydrated helps to keep the potassium flushed from their system.
    My understanding is that Karo is used if symptoms start, and I’ve not read anything to suggest it can be used as a preventative.
    There have been some good dietary suggestions above about the use of plain oats and a high fat diet as well. I strongly urge you to call the manufacturers of your preferred feed sources and inquire as to what the potassium levels are – potassium isn’t on feed tags.
    The N/H indicator for an HYPP horse has NO correlation between their likelihood of having an attack – it simply means that they have a 50% chance of passing on the defective gene to their offspring.

  9. I have a 15 year old gelding with Impressive four generations back on his sire’s dam’s side. My question is about the rules for testing. This article says the rule that descendant foals had to be tested went into effect in January of 1998. Yet this horse was born in February of 1998 and his papers were issued in April of 1999 and there is no designation of his status on the papers. There is a “disclaimer” on the front of the papers that AQHA recommends testing to confirm the presence or absence of the gene. Was the rule in effect or not?

  10. I have a H/N QH gelding that I’ve managed for 11 years. I’ve tried many different diets, medications, etc. what works for him (knock on wood, no episodes for 4 years now after previously having them 2-3 x/ week) is:
    1. Daily exercise
    2. Acetazolamide, compounded, NOT generic tabs
    3. Diet low in K+. Chaffehaye is wonderful. Constant low level of potassium and starch. Give a flake of Timothy at night for him to munch on.

    Hope this helps someone.

    P.s. chaffehaye also has my severe IR horse under control as well. Can’t say enough about it!

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