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Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2003
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Mare has been lethargic for several days, but drinking ,eating, peeing, pooping.Just not herself.Foal was weaned about 2 weeks ago&I cut out her grain to dry up bag.Started her on grain a few days ago.She is eating and out on good pasture.Checked her gums today and they are very yellow.Vet can't get here until Wed AM to do exam&bloodwork.Any suggestions on sites for reading and info .I am keeping a close eye on her for any changes.Mare is in good weight not extremely fat.Thanks
Go to the bottom of the page and where it says search...type in hyperlipemia and tons of threads dealing with it will come up...3 pages worth. I wish I could help more but this is the best I can do.
[SIZE=14pt]Bev if it is hyperlipemia she could be dead by wed! It causes swift organ shut down if not treated agressively right away. Put her in a trailer and TAKE her to a vet somewhere! If her gums are yellow she is jaundiced and jaundice is from liver failure.[/SIZE]

It is life threatening. My horse was tested for it a few months ago, and the vet came the same day as the symptoms appeared. It's that serious.

Here's what we have on another site that I belong to.


Hypertriglyceridemia can occur in any pony, at any time. Ponies that have their diet drastically restricted can develop it, as can ponies that go off feed for any reason at all and pregnant ponies (probably because of the worsening insulin resistsance with pregnancy).

Many old type pony breeds are inherently already insulin resistant. One of insulin's functions is to control the release of fat from fat stores. As a survival mechanism though, the pony is "programmed" by nature and evolution to easily mobilize fats for energy during times of poor food supply and is less sensitive to the suppressive effects of insulin on fat mobilization. This serves the pony well in the wild.

Problems come up when we domesticate the pony and feed it a diet higher in simple carbs, including sugary grasses, than it would normally eat roaming around on a Scottish mountainside. In the research setting, feeding high levels of simple carbs to an animal with insulin resistance makes the insulin resistance much worse. This is probably what happens with domesticated ponies. With specific

reference to the hypertriglyceridemia, you now have a situation where the fat is even less responsive to insulin that its normally poorly responsive state so anything that further lowers the sensitivity to insulin puts the pony at very high risk of hypertriglyceridemia.

The liver damage you are worried about comes after the hypertriglyceridemia, not before, although the liver can be slowly loading up with fat over a long period of time before any obvious crisis situation occurs. This may or may not elevate liver enzymes.

Carefully controlled glucose infusions are sometimes effective in emergency situations because it can reverse the "starvation" triggers somehow. Getting the pony to eat again is also effective (and safer) and since your pony has started eating you shouldn't give up on her yet.

Management is the same as for any case but the pony that tends toward hypertriglyceridemia is very fragile. Critically important that she never go long without eating and always have plenty of palatable high fiber, low NFC feeds to choose from. Also important to make sure she is able to efficiently chew, and therefore digest, everything she is getting.
Read both Lyn's and Hosscrazy's posts. They are accurate in my opinion.

We lost a mare to hyperlipemia before realizing what it was......Do NOT delay. It is very fast acting and deadly. And as posted, can be turned around much like a horse that has diabetes.

Good luck,

I took my mare to the vet at 6:30 PM.Not my usual vet who couldn't get here until WED.She had trouble getting blood sample&catheter in since veins were somewhat collapsed. She ran some tests and things were not too off, but mare is somewhat dehydrated.Started on meds&IVS and left her for the night.I will call in the AM, but things don't look too bad.Thanks for all the advice&urging me to take her.She is my best producing mare&at times can be a witch.But tonight she was very good.I talked to her&told her we were trying to help her feel better. I think she knew because she is normally not a nice sweet girl.We even had the twitch off when the vet got the catheter into her neck after trying several times.I have used this vet before&she is good, but when veins are bad it is difficult.I felt comfortable leaving her&will certainly be using this vet more in the future.Thanks for all the support.
Even if it is not Hyperlipidemia, if her gums are yellow, she is in trouble and I would not delay in having bloodwork done STAT!
I'm so glad you were able to get her in to be seen by a vet. Please keep us posted - she sounds like a very special mare.

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