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A Rant On Genetic Disorders

defective horses?

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#21 Aimbri

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 09:57 PM

Impressive (1968-04-15 - 1995-03-20) was born an Appendix American Quarter Horse, however earned his full AQHA registration in 1971. He was the 1974 World Champion Open Aged halter stallion, the first such World Champion in his breed, despite carrying only 48 halter points in total. He is famous for his highly successful progeny, having sired 2,250 foals. Nearly thirty of his offspring went on to be World Champions themselves.
Impressive is also notorious as the primary source of the widespread genetic disease known as Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP).
In his showing days, Impressive changed hands a number of times, perhaps his most famous owner being Dean Landers, who also owned the famous halter stallions Two Eyed Jack, Coy's Bonanza, and Sonny Dee Bar. Although Impressive raced for a short time after Landers sold him to Fennel Brown, he was quickly excluded from any performance discipline due to pedal osteitis, leaving halter as his only choice. His groundbreaking 1974 World Championship soon cemented his role in that discipline. Each time Impressive was resold, his price rose quickly; at one point, an offer of $300,000 for him was refused by Brown, who said "ain't nobody in this world got enough money to buy this horse."
Impressive was highly sought after for breeding, despite at one time carrying the outrageously high stud fee of $25,000. He sired a total of 2,250 foals, and as of 2003, was estimated to have in excess of 55,000 living descendants. He was bred for his muscular and refined form, which was passed on to his get often enough to make him at least the #5 all-time leading quarter horse sire when ranked by AQHA points earned by all progeny combined. Perhaps his greatest foal is Noble Tradition, a four-time World Champion stallion in halter, who has gone on to be a highly successful sire himself.
Although Impressive was not known to have exhibited any symptoms of the disease himself,[citation needed] gradually it became evident that many horses tracing to Impressive were afflicted with the painful, alarming, and often fatal disease Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP). Further, it has never been observed in horses not descendants of his line. HYPP is a dominant gene, and as such, all animals with even one copy of the gene, identified as "N/H", will exhibits some symptoms of the disease. Horses with two copies, identified as "H/H." will always pass on the condition, and research suggests that H/H horses may have more severe symptoms that N/H horses.
After a number of years of debate, effective since January 1, 2007, the AQHA amended rule 205©(3) and rule Rule 227(e) to require all descendants of Impressive to be tested prior to being registered, and ban from registration all horses born after January 1, 2007 with HYPP genetics confirmed by DNA testing to be homozygous for the condition (H/H).
However, other breed registries that accept animals with Quarter Horse bloodlines, including the American Paint Horse Association and the Appaloosa Horse Club, have yet to bar such animals. There is currently a widespread effort among many breeders to eliminate the disease by selective breeding, but there are those who continue to breed without regard for it, seeking the muscular enhancement correlated with it, and in doing so perpetuate the disease's existence.

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#22 AlythLong

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 05:49 AM

We know that gray (grey) is not a color, but is a result of the loss of color. This is called depigmentation - Tesio called it decolorization and devotes many pages of his book to the discussion of the topic of color. What he got wrong was his assertion that gray (grey) did not follow Mendelian "law". He states that there was no scientific proof of the trait as being "pure" or "hybrid", as he called it. In Tesio's view the loss of pigmentation (grey) was a disease.

More data on the coat colors can be found at the UC Davis Vet Center, here:

http://www.vgl.ucdav...tcolorhorse.php


Actually as I have understood genetics - depigmentisation and the colour grey are completely different!! The colour grey is a gene that affects coat colour, mofifying the basic coat colour. Depigmentation often occurs in greys and is displayed by loss of pigmentation in the skin so black skin becomes pink.........it usually affects older animals. Not trying to be picky, just accurate!!!

#23 Ray

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:41 PM


We know that gray (grey) is not a color, but is a result of the loss of color. This is called depigmentation - Tesio called it decolorization and devotes many pages of his book to the discussion of the topic of color. What he got wrong was his assertion that gray (grey) did not follow Mendelian "law". He states that there was no scientific proof of the trait as being "pure" or "hybrid", as he called it. In Tesio's view the loss of pigmentation (grey) was a disease.

More data on the coat colors can be found at the UC Davis Vet Center, here:

http://www.vgl.ucdav...tcolorhorse.php


Actually as I have understood genetics - depigmentisation and the colour grey are completely different!! The colour grey is a gene that affects coat colour, mofifying the basic coat colour. Depigmentation often occurs in greys and is displayed by loss of pigmentation in the skin so black skin becomes pink.........it usually affects older animals. Not trying to be picky, just accurate!!!


Hi Alyth,

Pigment, or the lack of it, is responsible for the various shades of "color" which are visible and therefore able to be labeled with some name from the color palette. Many parts of the body contain pigment, including skin, hair and eyes. Loss of color, or depigmentation, can be observed in any of those three. The "graying gene" which is responsible for coat color (or lack of color) does not cause depigmentation of the skin or eyes. Depigmentation of skin is a different issue.

Here is another link:

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Gray_(horse)

:umm:

#24 AlythLong

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 06:47 PM

LOL That's what I said!! One is genetic the other isn't therefore imo using the term "depigmentation" for grey colouring is confusing the issue!!

#25 Fairfax

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 06:53 PM

There is a long history regarding genetic disorders and the Arabian Horse. When I first started to breed my mares, there was a lovely Phantom son, owned by Dawn Porter of Saskatchewan who caught my attention. I mentioned it to another breeder who whispered he sired foals who died. I should reconsider.

I had wonderful stallions available within a few days hauling so I went in search for the perfect cross. I was using an Abu Raseyn daughter on lease and I bred her to Tsatyn. The resulting foal died of pneumonia. We were advised by the vet to bleach our total barn and shed arrangement, so we did. This time I bred her to Sotep. Next foal, contacted pneumonia. Vet advised us to rebleach and make sure all of the halters etc were cleaned.

I then bred her to Kubriya. Same result. The J.B. Chas..Again..a total of FIVE different stallions and five dead foals. We had moved her to the ranch (along with other mares...some of who also had dead foals)...therefore we were SURE it was the property...however the carnage did not stop.

I spoke with my friend Jim Lewis and they were having problems with Nizzam. Bazy Tankersley was noticing there were problems with the stallions in her R program...she had purchased Ranix and his son from Chris Wade in Ontario. Silver Vanity was another. Meanwhile, Tish was having problems with Geym. Garth Buchanan would never tell anyone what was going on however her Kareyma line was in trouble. Eleanor McColly of the original R Farm was advised by the USDA to put down ALL of her herd. On the black sunday...each horse was lead to the top of the hill and euthanized...SEVENTY in total. Eleanor eventually acquired S.E.'s however it was not the same and her heard wasn't in it.

We DID NOT KNOW...

At the same time..the economy was starting to melt down. The drug laundering days at Arabian Horse sales were coming to an end due to the crack down of the D.E.A. on Columbia, Brazil etc. AND, individuals who had purchased the high priced mares did not have live foals to sell to pay down the bank loans.

The Appaloosa horse club removed the Arabian Horse breed from its list of breeds to be used.



FINALLY it was dianosed.

By this time, Friendship Farms had started their decline in breeding. Lewisfield moved over to the Thoroughbreds, and so many wonderful breeders had given up.

Everyone was hurting..emotionally, financially and also watching the removal of some wonderful breeding programs. Jimmy Wrench, RB Field, Kelvin Grove just to name a few.

Those with those lines had become the unclean, the untouchables. The stigma never left.

We lost a total of 21 due to SCIDS and its complications.

Still...I plowed on...changed my originaly program...used more Polish, Spanish..and before I knew it..I had wobblers syndrome...three out of four in one year.

That was the final blow.

I left the breed.

Had I have known and understood what we know today, I would have bred around the disease. I would not have felt I had to stop breeding the type I loved.

Egyptians were a possibility..but they also seemed to have problems...a huge one was temperment and there were the sand babies.

We we see the decline in the Arabian horse...it is for many reasons...but also many adults, today, watched their parents lose money, lose the horses and lose hope.


For that reason, there should be testing and breeders can then make choices...

We lost generations of the gene pools...

We lost generations of future breeders


We lost our dreams.

Some of us have stayed in horses...just not Arabians...but most moved on
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#26 M Huprich

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 07:24 PM

Leo, thanks for your fabulous post.

#27 Ray

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 07:34 PM

Good Lord, Leo! I can barely imagine having to lead an entire herd to be put down. I don't know if I would have any heart left after something like that.

#28 Ray

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 07:36 PM

LOL That's what I said!! One is genetic the other isn't therefore imo using the term "depigmentation" for grey colouring is confusing the issue!!


LOL! Wrong! They are ALL genetic. I sure wish you would read the material at those links I provided.

#29 calicoarab52

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:27 PM

Leo - to this day the deceit that was associated with those who tried to cover up their losses & pawn them off to fresh meat- er, excuse me, new customers, continues to haunt our beloved breed. And the heartbreak is, so many of those really great old lines are all but lost now, & with the stigma that they carry, it is hard to convince anyone of their value. With the availability of testing, we now can make informed decisions, and never have to face the financial and emotional devestation. It is so sad to read your post. I know MANY breeders here in California who suffered thruough similar scenarios, and finally left the horse world all together. I had a long establised breeder try to pawn off a fully affected CA mare on me back in 1985, & succeded in giving another to a friend of mine, who ended up euthanized the poor sad creature. I took the mare they gave me back, & the farm actually BRED HER, then told me what a lovely filly that horse had produced & what a fool I was the next year, I am not doing any breeding now for a variety of reasons, but am slowly going through ALL of my breedable stock & testing for SCID, LFS, & CA. We owe it to our future generations to make up for the past. Thank your for your honesty in posting. If only there were more with your integrity.

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#30 M Huprich

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:52 PM

I think some of these people truly believed it was a foal pneumonia due to a virus, and not a genetic issue. The vets were NOT treating it as a genetic issue. I know at least one farm that built a totally new barn and closed up their other barn since their vet said the stuff causing the pneumonia had gotten into the walls and floor of the barn and they were unable to clean it enough due to the porous barn walls and dirt floors.

#31 calicoarab52

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 09:39 PM

That would have been an acceptable excuse in 1972, but by the mid-70s' there were already whispers that the problem was genetic. And by about 1978-79 the vets were all but saying "genetic". I know poeple who in the past 10 years have lost foals to LFS, and in the one case, which presented textbook symptoms, the veterinarians who saved the mare but euthanized the foal had never even heard of LFS. They were primarily race track/ Thorobred vets, so had no experience. Another vet that I was using 10-12 years ago was a TB/ racing vet who worked at Caiborne Farm in KY & Santa Anita racetrack here in S. California, and he swore that there were foals lost to SCID in the Thorobred breed, just lower in number. And as his ex-wife had SEs that she got from the Pritzlaff program, he was well aware of what he was talking about. I recently saw on another forum, which I hardly ever read, someone who said they had their doubts about CA/SCID in the AK horses. So there is stll a lot of denial out there. The information is out there, we just need to be wise in how we use it.

#32 desertrat

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 10:18 PM

The AQHA stallion "Impressive" was intensively inbred to the thoroghbred stallion "Three Bars." There are some really bad things that come from that bloodline. Also some really good things. Some blood does not stand being that closely concentrated.

#33 Fairfax

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 10:39 PM

To be honest I had never heard of CA until it was brought forth in so many Spanish Arabians. I had owned *Pagana III from the Steen importation and never had any problems with her so I was surprised when Lisa started to inform many of us of the issue.

There was a lot of denial. There were many who just wanted to get their money back from the horses (they had just been the big time investors--not horsemen/women) There was FEAR that a life time of work within a breed would be wiped out.

Bazy blamed the stallions...not knowing SCIDS was typical of two carriers required.


I owned Afghan Hounds and there is a genetic disease in the line I chose and it is called
Achalasia Puppies die when they are moved onto solid food. It was very pronounced in my line, so I decided to work with a vet and also try and breed to control it...I inbred..I had a female Pepper..who was the dam, grand dam, great grand dam and great great grand dam of my top winning litter. One of those inbreedings was her son bred back to her.

Pepper would sniff all of the puppies when they arrived and would take one and toss it across the lwhelping box She would not nurse it. We preserved skin tissue and when a test was developed we used it for a marker. We also had the results of the disection however due to the age it was hard to determine if it was restricted due to a new birth or genetic.

I did not have any puppies who developed Achalasia..but here is a kicker. I leased a bitch to a breeder friend and she bred to an outcross with no known genetic faults and Chimera had a FULL LITTER (9) and ALL were Achalasia. Of course the stud owner denied anything could come from them..Now..it is not an issue..due to breeding and testing.

The same should occur with the Arabians. I would hate to see the further reduction of pedigree genetics from the gene pool

#34 Ray

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 11:33 PM

I don't see where 3 lines to Three Bars could be thought of as intensive inbreeding. He appears, at most, a generation apart.

http://www.allbreedp...com/impressive6

In any case, it would appear that HYPP in equines began with Impressive. Since HYPP is dominant, it would have been found in other lines, had it been in existence elsewhere. I have not read anything yet, but the case with Impressive would seem to be a case of spontaneous mutation of the gene. Had Impressive not been so impressive to some people and been gelded as a youngster, the condition would not exist in horses today.

Arabian breeders are fortunate in that SCID, CA and LFS are recessives. Carriers can be kept in the gene pool and in due time, carriers will be gone but the bloodlines will be preserved. I suspect that any dominant disorders, should any be discovered, will not be as "lucky."

#35 M Huprich

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 11:58 PM

That would have been an acceptable excuse in 1972, but by the mid-70s' there were already whispers that the problem was genetic. And by about 1978-79 the vets were all but saying "genetic".


The people I was referring to were some of the people mentioned in Leo's post (and others) and that were breeding prior to the mid 70s.

#36 AlythLong

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 02:06 AM

Fairfax - hindsight is wonderful thing isn't it?!! It's amazing how much we don't know until we learn it! And many of these genetic problems are just coming to light now. I didn't realise how many great programmes died away because of cid......as it was called then.

Ray - I read the article on COAT colours - at least I skipped through it as it seems to go along with everything I believe!! Can't get Wikipedia to download at the moment though. It's all very well to say "depigmentation", but that is a process and it needs to be more precise - just what part of the body is being "depigmentalised"!! The coat? The skin? The eyes? The tail?....So I repeat my understanding of the colour grey is a modifying gene that does not skip a generation and makes a base coat colour turn grey. Depigmentalisation is black skin turning pink and I do not know what causes this yet. So I can't say definitely whether it is genetic or an environmental problem, or something else .......

#37 AlythLong

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 02:11 AM

Another thing I must mention is that it seems even today some of the older breeders say they have never lost a foal to a genetic problem. They don't seem to realise that you don't lose a foal to SCIDS, you lose it to pneumonia or some other infection......because the immune system is flawed and cannot fight the problem, even with the help of ABs.....so it seems that even today there is a lot of ignorance in the horse world!!
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#38 pucaru

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 02:24 AM

Leo,

What are sand babies?

Thanks!
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#39 Ray

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 02:27 AM

Fairfax - hindsight is wonderful thing isn't it?!! It's amazing how much we don't know until we learn it! And many of these genetic problems are just coming to light now. I didn't realise how many great programmes died away because of cid......as it was called then.

Ray - I read the article on COAT colours - at least I skipped through it as it seems to go along with everything I believe!! Can't get Wikipedia to download at the moment though. It's all very well to say "depigmentation", but that is a process and it needs to be more precise - just what part of the body is being "depigmentalised"!! The coat? The skin? The eyes? The tail?....So I repeat my understanding of the colour grey is a modifying gene that does not skip a generation and makes a base coat colour turn grey. Depigmentalisation is black skin turning pink and I do not know what causes this yet. So I can't say definitely whether it is genetic or an environmental problem, or something else .......


Well, I don't know how to put it in any simpler terms. Since we were discussing coat color, then the depigmentation is working on the HAIR. Gray is not a natural color - it is the LOSS of a natural hair color due to the gene for "gray".

As I said before, depigmentation of the SKIN is unrelated to the gray gene.

#40 diane

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 02:55 AM

Leo, What are sand babies? Thanks!

Uhmm, my question as well - thanks for asking. Also, Leo... what were the notable temperament issues? The more that is known and openly discussed, the greater the understanding may be. :umm:
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