Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Hyperlipemia, Lipemia

Lipemia is excessive circulation of fat in the bloodstream. It results from excessive or mistaken hormonal signaling that tells the body to release fat from fat stores. It is a common problem among ponies, miniature horses, and donkeys that are being treated for other conditions. It is expected to occur in these breeds when they are off feed for whatever reason.

Lipemia causes a variety of life threatening problems and must be diagnosed and treated effectively along with the underlying primary disorder.

Prognosis & Relevant Factors

Fair with aggressive treatment and resolution of the underlying cause. However, this disorder can be difficult to reverse.


Special attention should be made to trying to maintain ponies, miniature horses and donkeys on feed whenever possible. Do not allow these breeds to go without feed for an extended period of time for any reason.
Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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