FOR HYPP HORSES, HOLD THE MOLASSES
If your horse has Cushing’s disease, insulin resistance or other sugar sensitivities, you’ll want to stick to plain beet pulp, without any added molasses. The same is true for horses with hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP) but for other reasons.
HYPP is an inherited disease characterized by muscle excitability and weakness under certain conditions. One of those conditions is an excess of dietary potassium.
“Molasses contains a high amount of a potassium” says Betsy Wagner, PhD, an equine nutritionist with Auburn University. “And part of the management of HYPP horses is to reduce their potassium intake. This means no feeds with added molasses, like sweet feeds and sweetened beet pulp. Horses with HYPP can have plain beet pulp, but you don’t want to feed them any type that has added molasses. You’d be setting them up for a potential episode.”