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SarahAnn 12-08-2011 11:35 PM

Lethal White?
So, as some of you know, I recently lost a horse to colic. (Technically heart complications during a colic surgery.) She had coliced several times over the 8 years that I had her. Some severe, some minor.

I was just reading a little bit about Lethal White, and some of it seemed familiar to me. She was a Paint, but solid or what some people call breeding stock. Her sire was tobiano/ splash? And her dam was also solid chestnut. Her full sister is my tobiano paint, and most of her siblings have a lot of white.

Does she have to be white to carry Lethal White? We started seeing signs of colic almost immediately after bringing her home at 6 months old. She was on Psyllium once a month since then...

Anyone have any information to offer?
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waresbear 12-08-2011 11:48 PM

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Lethal whites only live a day or two. No, the horse can be a solid color & carry the lethal white gene.

SarahAnn 12-08-2011 11:52 PM

Okay, thank you. Next question... Is it possible that A. Her mysterious heart murmur is genetic? I am asking this because the thought of breeding her sister has come up in the past. And B. Is there a genetic connection with the colic issue? That could be passed on by her sister? The sister has never showed any signs of colic, and doesn't have a heart murmur.
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SarahAnn 12-08-2011 11:55 PM

And did you mean "no, the horse CAN'T be a solid color and carry Lethal White." Or "Yes, the horse CAN be solid and carry Lethal White." Just a little confused about that one :)
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waresbear 12-08-2011 11:56 PM

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That I do not know. I would ask a vet specializing in equine reproduction that question. I believe there is online veterinarian help forums for general question like that. Sorry I don't know of any offhand.

bubba13 12-09-2011 12:00 AM

Solids can and do carry lethal white--but lethal white is just that....lethal. They colic and die within a couple days of being born, if not euthanized first. And they are entirely or nearly solid white in color. Their digestive tract is incomplete, and there is no correction for the condition.

Yes, it is always possible to have a genetic component to heart or GI issues, and unfortunately there is really no way to test and confirm/deny that, unlike the case with lethal white, which just involves pulling a few hairs and sending them to the lab.

SarahAnn 12-09-2011 12:05 AM

So Lethal White can be tested the same way we tested our QHs for HYPP? That's good to know, and something I will definitely do. I feel like whether we have the intent to breed our Paint mare OR Paint stallion, or not ever breed them, is something that should be done. I am curious as to weather or not any of the other foals that came out of her sire or dam have had colic issues or heart murmurs. I am a bit skeptical on weather or not the heart murmur even existed in the first place to be honest. But I will never know for sure.
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bubba13 12-09-2011 12:11 AM

Yep, easy test for lethal white.
APHA.Com - Lethal Whites

Cherie 12-09-2011 07:42 AM

I have known one stallion that had a genetic heart murmur. He did pass it on to about 1/4 or fewer of his foals. He was put down because of it. It could be easily identified by simply listening to their hearts. It was a major murmur.

The stallion was found with it when he tired very easily while in training. No one thought much of it as he was very well bred and still showed quite well -- just tired easily and had to be trained carefully.

No one thought much of it until they started putting his first two foal crops into training and several of them also would tire very easily. This the only case I have ever heard of. We knew the owner very well, so heard the stories about what was going on.

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