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Monday, 2 October 2017

Muscle Tremor Disorder That Only Effects Quarter Horses?!

Muscle tremor disorder (Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis) is a muscle disorder that is quite different from the others.  It is most common in American quarter horses so if you own this breed you should learn a lot about this disorder.


This disorder is given at birth genetically.  The reason it causes muscle tremors is that the horses body leaks sodium ions into the muscle cells which then causes potassium ions (which are vital) to be pushed out causing muscle tremors.


  • Contraction of facial muscles (the horse might look like he is smiling)
  • Strange body posture 
  • Flaccid muscles 
  • Being uncomfortable (repeated standing then lying down)


HYPP cannot be prevented or treated.  It can however control it by a strict feeding schedule.  The horse should be fed a diet of 1% potassium and most usual diets and feeds should be avoided.  If your horse is diagnosed then as the vet and a equine nutritionist to create a feeding plan.   


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