- Category: HYPP
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I foolishly, knowingly bred my mare to an NH stallion with the thinking that I only had a 50% chance of producing an NH foal...didn't bother to (or maybe didn't want to) consider that I only had a 50% chance of an NN foal too!!
Of course, the filly was NH! After talking to quite a few owners and show people, I decided not to worry about it, even continued to feed her Omolene 200 AND soybean meal to keep her with a nice show coat. I did continue to stay updated on HYPP just in case...
It wasn't until last fall as a 3 year old that I NOTICED her having an attack while I was grooming her. Who knows if this was her first or if there had been others that had gone unnoticed. It started with the little ripples, much like when you toss a stone into a pond. Although I had never seen any sign in any horse before I had a horrible hunch what was going on. I took her off the cross ties and was planning on taking her into the indoor arena to get her moving since I had heard that mild exercise can prevent or stop an attack. So much for that idea!! She could barely walk, looking like a drunk stumbling out of a bar! I decided the best place for her was in her stall so I got her in there and called the vet.
Of course this happened to be about 9 PM on a Sunday night so I had to wait till the answering service got the message to the clinic and then for a vet to call me back. When he called, I told him I suspected she was having an attack and he told me I was right. He told me to remove her hay and keep an eye on her while he stayed on the line. I went back in the barn and she appeared just fine so I decided to bring her out and walk her around a bit. Since my phone was in my car, I brought her back to it to tell the vet that everything was okay when she just collapsed by the car. I will never forget the words the vet told me..."get away from her (to avoid getting hurt) and don't try to get her up because she has no control over her body now. This isn't going to last very long, probably only 30 seconds or so but one of two things will happen--either she will get up and be fine as though nothing had happened or it will be the end!"
Let me tell you, those few seconds seemed like hours!!! Fortunately she did get up and aside from a few nicks and scrapes was fine. I was able to go to another client's farm nearby and obtain acetazolamide tablets to tide me over till WalMart's pharmacy was open the next day.
We kept her on it for about 6 weeks, had the hay and pastures analyzed by the university, and changed her diet to oats and cracked corn with some sugar but NO molasses and soybean meal.
I'm happy to say that she has not had another problem that I know of...yes, she does have the typical muscled up body of a halter horse which she would have been if not for a leg injury as a yearling but I ride her and she's never been a problem nor am I afraid to ride her.Her dam has severe arthritis in her hocks and it is harder to accept and care for her than the filly. I can honestly say that I would rather she be NH than have this debilitating arthritis, knowing all along that soon the time will come when I will have to make that dreadful decision.
This may sound strange but if the filly has an attack which does kill her, at least she won't have suffered like the mare has for years with arthritis.
I know I've been pretty wordy but I just wanted to let others know that there is hope for a NH horse and NO, I WILL NOT BREED TO ANOTHER NH HORSE AGAIN but since I am the one responsible for bringing her into this world, I will accept the responsibilities of caring and enjoying her. I hope others will do the same.