Is Lethal White Syndrome the same as albino? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 17 Old 04-15-2009, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Is Lethal White Syndrome the same as albino?

I know the albino gene is fatal in horses. LWS sounds really similar and I was wondering if it was the same thing. If not, how are they different? Also, what horses are carriers of the genes?

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post #2 of 17 Old 04-15-2009, 07:09 PM
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Nope, they're not even related. Lethal white is caused by breeding frame overos to each other (25% chance for every breeding).

Lethal white syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-16-2009, 05:02 AM
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Where did you hear about albino horses being lethal? Albinism doesn't really exist in horses. Some say the cream gene is a form of albinism, and in that case, fine it exists, but is FAR from being lethal ;)
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-16-2009, 06:21 AM
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The stallion in my avatar is a lethal white carrier (visual frame overo) As long as I do not breed him to another lethal white carrier there is no chance of having a LW foal. To get the frame pattern you have to have a LW carrier

Not all Frame horses can be seen so its always best to test for the gene if you have a lot of pintos or paints

There is no such thing as an albino horse.
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-18-2009, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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I thought albino horses were born, but they didn't live. It's what I read here:

Rare Horse Colors - The Facts

But then there's a link to another page that says exactly what you just said. So I don't think the one above is accurate.

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post #6 of 17 Old 04-19-2009, 12:03 AM
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Quick Overview: Overo Lethal White is caused by the overo gene when there are two copies of the gene present in the horse's genotype (the actual genes that are in the horse. The phenotype is what you see from the outside.) It is autosomal recessive, which means that it is a mutation on a non-sex chromosome and that the horse will only be affected by the disorder if both copies of the overo gene are present.

There is fairly strong evidence that all true overos are carriers of the mutation, but it is not know for certain at this time. The OLWS mutation is mainly found in frame overos, but it has been found in other overo patterned horses, and even solid colored paint horses that have ancestors with overo patterning. However, not all frame overos are carriers. (genetics can be so tricky) Personally I think that if you have a paint horse that you are going to breed, you should have it tested for OLWS. It costs only $25 at UC Davis in California, and is quick and easy to do. https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/horse.php

"Lethal White" or Dominant Lethal White is caused by the dominant white gene, so it is different from Overo Lethal White. I do not know much about it other than that it is typically caused by both copies of the dominant white gene being present. Just as a side note, cremello and perlino are caused by a double dose of one of the dilution genes, so they are not true whites and their genotype for the dominant white gene is ww (homozygous recessive). Post if you would like the sources for this stuff. I have been doing a lot of research on genetic disorders lately and can list sources etc. if you'd like. :)

Last edited by Just Another Barn Bum; 04-19-2009 at 12:06 AM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-20-2009, 01:32 AM
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^^ Frame IS OLW. OLW IS Frame. End of story. Frame isn't always VISIBLE, ESPECIALLY if the horse has other patterns. But if a horse is positive for OLW, it IS frame, and can certainly have a patterened frame foal if bred to a non-frame solid horse.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-25-2009, 04:30 PM
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Well - the "albino's" as they used to be known, are now referred to as double dilute's - cremello's, perlino's and smoky cream's

Believe me - they are all very much alive and well I own a cremello TB stallion - Guaranteed Gold:



And a perlino TB mare - Pearlescent - who is shown with her 1 day old foal who may well be the world's first smoky cream TB:



So far from being "dead" these horses are all very genetically and physically healthy ... :)
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-25-2009, 05:03 PM
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What kind of pattern does a Frame-patterned horse have?

And like everyone said, the albino gene isn't fatal. Other than that, I have no information. O_O

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post #10 of 17 Old 04-29-2009, 10:57 AM
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there is no such thing as an albino in horses. In order for the horse to be albino, it has to have white hair, pink skin and red eyes (not blue). Look at albino rabbits and rats and hamsters etc.
The blue eyes are a form of pigmentation and since albinos have no pigmentation it can't be.
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