Under certain stressful conditions, causing a sudden drop in their diet, such as heavy parasite
infestations, pituitary tumors, pregnancy, and lactation, the miniature horse can become
It can result when anything drastically reduces their feed intake . Hyperlipemia is caused when fat
is released into the blood system, in response to the reduction of feed intake, causing high levels
of fat in the blood.
The miniature horse differs from other animals in that instead of converting fat into energy, their
fat floods into the blood and builds up in their liver causing hyperlipemia. It can result in fatal liver
and kidney damage.
Once hyperlipemia occurs, the prognosis poor. Even with treatment, there is only a 50 percent
survival rate from hyperlipemia.
Owners must monitor the diet carefully so that they do not become obese, requiring a reduction in
their intake of food and possibly becoming hyperlipemic. Parasites can cause it, so regular worming
Symptoms include the refusal to eat, depression, diarrhea, weakness muscle incoordination, yellow
color mucus membranes of the eyes, lethargy and weakness.