AQHA disease testing - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-12-2012, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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AQHA disease testing

I'm not 100% sure whether this was a good place, but I thought this would be a great spot to talk about what kinds of disease testing or any other testing relating to the AQHA that way people can learn of what is it and where it comes from when breeding horses.

What kinds of diseases should be tested in order to breed Paint an Pinto horses so we are aware of what is out there? What bloodlines are associated with them?

I'm not good at this kind of thing. I usually confuse people :)
Oh, and I'm not just picking on QH horses, I'm making one for APHA and PtHA horses as well. It just fascinates me on what diseases are out there and in the long run it would help others including myself to learn how to do genetics better :)

I figured it would be a great learning experience for everyone too. :)
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-12-2012, 09:15 PM
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Oh my, Quarter horses have a list of diseases that are associated with them. When I did some research for my class, my friend wanted us to cover diseases as well. I found that a lot has to do with their glycogen.

HYPP (Hyperkalemic Period Paralysis)- This inherited disease is characterized by violent muscle twitching and substantial muscle weakness or paralysis among affected horses. HYPP is a dominant genetic disorder; therefore heterozygotes bred to genotypically normal horses have a statistic probability of producing clinically affected offspring 50% of the time.
  • Muscle trembling
  • Prolapse of the third eyelid - this means that you may note the third eyelid flickering across the eye, or covering more of the eye than normal
  • Generalized weakness
  • Weakness in the hind end - the horse may look as though it is 'dog-sitting'
  • Complete collapse
  • Abnormal whinny - this is because the muscles of the voicebox are affected as well as other muscles
  • Death - In a severe attack the diaphragm is also paralyzed and the horse can suffocate.
I've seen a horse have to be put down due to this disease.. it isn't pretty, with no cure as of yet.
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HERDA (Hereditary Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia)- It develops from a homozygous recessive mutation that weakens collagen fibers that allow the skin of the animal to stay connected to the rest of the animal. Affected horses have extremely fragile skin that tears easily and exhibits impaired healing. In horses with HC, the skin separates between the deep and superficial dermis. There is no cure. Most individuals receive an injury they cannot heal, and are euthanized. Managed breeding strategy is currently the only option for reducing the incidence of the disease.

HERDA is characterized by abnormal skin along the back that tears or rips easily and heals into disfiguring scars. The skin is loose, and hyper-elastic in affected horses. Symptoms typically donít appear until the horse is subjected to pressure or injury on their back, neck or hips, usually around two yrs of age. However foals can show signs when injured, while other horses mature and only show signs in the joints.[2] The expression of HERDA is variable, and the phenotypic range of expression is still being determined.

Also, this disease is traced back to some pretty popular horses. Dry Doc, Doc O'lena, Great Pine, and Zippo Pine Bare.
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GBED (Glycogen Branching Enzyme Deficiency)- Recent research suggests that at least 3% of abortions in Quarter horses are due to GBED. Some foals are born alive but are often weak and require warming and assistance to nurse after birth. These foals may appear healthy for a time but eventually the may develop seizures, become too weak to stand, or in some cases, they die suddenly.
  • Abortion or still birth of a foal.
  • Weakness and low body temperature at birth. Treatment with a bottle, tubing the foal with milk, and assistance to stand and suckle regularly helps the foal become stronger.
  • Sudden death on pasture of foals from the heart stopping or from seizures (due to low blood sugar).
  • High respiratory rate and weakness of the muscles used to breathe in foals.
  • Contracted tendons found in all four legs of a foal.
  • Overall weakness and the inability of the foal to get up from lying on its side.
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EPSM or PSSM (Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy)- Sub-type of exertional rhabdomyolysis characterized by a defect in glycogen storage in skeletal muscle.
  • stiff gait
  • pain
  • muscle cramping
  • reluctance to move after exercise.
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Truthfully, I think horses should be tested for all of these... Especially HERDA and HYPP. Both make me sick to my stomach...

Last edited by Ladybug2001; 01-12-2012 at 09:17 PM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-12-2012, 09:18 PM
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Don't forget OLWS in Quarter Horses, too. It's not just the pinto breeds that have it....some QH's carry frame.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-12-2012, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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I agree! I couldn't watch a hypp attack. :(
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-12-2012, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bubba13 View Post
Don't forget OLWS in Quarter Horses, too. It's not just the pinto breeds that have it....some QH's carry frame.
Yes, I thought about putting it, but it isn't extremely associated with QH's though they do carry it..

Its scary watching an HYPP attack... its sad that people breed for the diesease to help in the show ring.
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-12-2012, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ladybug2001 View Post
Yes, I thought about putting it, but it isn't extremely associated with QH's though they do carry it..

Its scary watching an HYPP attack... its sad that people breed for the diesease to help in the show ring.
Whenever I look in a AQHA Journal, I cringe seeing the halter horses....WOW!
Where's the sanity here? Have you seen they're trying to ride them now? I mean the full him halter horses. Not a performance bred.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-12-2012, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by MyLittlePonies View Post
Whenever I look in a AQHA Journal, I cringe seeing the halter horses....WOW!
Where's the sanity here? Have you seen they're trying to ride them now? I mean the full him halter horses. Not a performance bred.
Ugh, I'd like to seem they trying to get half of the tack of those stocky things. They look... wrong, way to beefy. At the Equine Program I attend, they have a pretty stocky Quarter Horse.. I'm not sure if he is an HYPP carrier, but he is a big boy... I had to go in a halter him once, he done turned and threatened to kick at me. All the while people were going "He is a good stallion, he will just be bitey." What ever. XD The only two stallions I will mess with there is I Inspire and Wizlet... they are way calmer, and not as huge as Tardy 'N Time and Clue It To It.

This is a pretty good thread you started. I can't look at any of the diseases I posted and think one isn't bad enough for someone to blow off and not test for.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-12-2012, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ladybug2001 View Post
Ugh, I'd like to seem they trying to get half of the tack of those stocky things. They look... wrong, way to beefy. At the Equine Program I attend, they have a pretty stocky Quarter Horse.. I'm not sure if he is an HYPP carrier, but he is a big boy... I had to go in a halter him once, he done turned and threatened to kick at me. All the while people were going "He is a good stallion, he will just be bitey." What ever. XD The only two stallions I will mess with there is I Inspire and Wizlet... they are way calmer, and not as huge as Tardy 'N Time and Clue It To It.

This is a pretty good thread you started. I can't look at any of the diseases I posted and think one isn't bad enough for someone to blow off and not test for.
Very true.
Thank you. I thought it would make a great reference. :)
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-12-2012, 10:28 PM
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Horse Testing - Equine Genetic Testing
Thought I would ad this link! I got my sisters stud tested for frame through them! They offer testing for ALOT of diseases associated with many different breeds!
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-13-2012, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ladybug2001 View Post
Yes, I thought about putting it, but it isn't extremely associated with QH's though they do carry it..

Its scary watching an HYPP attack... its sad that people breed for the diesease to help in the show ring.
It still needs to be tested for in QH's. Up until recently they were not allowed AQHA papers. If they had an to much white. There are probably quite a few QH's that are frame carriers that do not express the pattern.

It's better to be safe and test rather than just assume because it is solid it is not frame.
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