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Just like any other warm-blooded woman, I get the warm and fuzzies any time I see a baby anything, so I especially enjoy this time of year seeing the calves, bunnies, puppies and, obviously, the foals. I belong to a Facebook group dedicated to the foal-watch for 2014, and I've just been completely blown away by something I saw today.

There was an individual posting pictures of his absolutely gorgeous Overo mare today. He went on to say that she had had a live colt a few weeks ago that he wound up destroying due to Lethal White Syndrome. My first thought was sympathy.

Then things got weird.

1.) He owns this non-registered, non-proven, TWO YEAR OLD stud.
2.) He admitted that the stud was positive for OLWS.
3.) He admitted that his mare was also positive.
4.) He said that there is only a small chance of throwing OLWS with two positive horses.
5.) When gently advised that breeding is about more than color; that it is about personality, confirmation and other positives, his response was 'you show me your high-priced fancy horses that look as good as mine, then we'll talk'.

Initially he said he'd never even heard of OLWS. Then now he's saying he knowingly bred two carriers and ****ed this foal from the beginning.

I don't really have a point here or a question, I just needed somewhere to vent my frustration without putting it on Facebook. I don't know this guy, or his situation, but I'm realizing as I get older just how opinionated I really am about this wonderful world of horses we live in.

My mind is just abso-friggin'-lutely blown. I just want to grab him and say "STOP PERPETUATING THE CYCLE WITH YOUR UNEDUCATED, UNHELPFUL, COMPLETELY UNNECCESSARY BACKYARD BREEDING!"
 

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OLWS is just horrible isn't it? And it's COMPLETELY 100% preventable.

Research, Research, Research.

I have 2 mares that are positive for Frame. They will NEVER, EVER, EVER be bred to another Frame carrier. And if the stallion owner didn't test for OWLS, their semen will never come near my mare. The frame gene can hide. TB's, Appaloosas, Paints, Quarter Horses, Mini's, Grades, Ponies etc...Can all carry the Frame gene. Even if they show no outward symptoms, Frame can show in the slightest way...or no way at all.

There was a member on here that just lost a foal to Lethal White. Educated breeding would have prevented such a matter...
 

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THis is painful to hear! There are times i would like to tie up people, who knowingly breed two OWLS horse, insides. That way they know how the foal feels before it ether died or is put down :evil:
 

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There is also a "breeder" near me. My dad used to work with her. She has 20+ broodmare band. ALL are Frame carriers. Her stallion...Is a Bay Frame Overo.

*sigh*
 

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I'm also in that group. Two positives that have been born from his situation are knowledge for himself and knowledge for others. I saw many people had commented that they did not even know that something like that could happen or what OWLS is. Its good education for many ignorant people at the expense of one poor little foal.
 

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I just can't believe how many people are sticking up for him. If he couldn't do the research he doesn't deserve to be treated with sympathy it is his own fault it happened. On top of breeding an unproven 2 yr old stud this guy set himself up for failure. There is plenty of knowledge out there and if you are breeding you should be researching constantly not just before you breed because new things are always happening.

As I stated on the post I am in a way glad it happened so this guy got a wake up call or atleast hopefully he did.
 

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It isn't rare or a small chance of lethal white when breeding two frame horses. You don't even increase your odds of getting a healthy frame baby.

A frame carrier crossed to a non frame carrier is a 50% healthy frame and 50% healthy non frame.

A frame carrier crossed with another frame carrier is 50% healthy frame, 25% healthy non frame and 25% lethal white.

All that changed was splitting the 50% chance of a healthy non frame resulting foal and giving the baby a 1 in 4 odds of being lethal white. 1 and 4 odds are really good odds at winning if you were gambling at a casino, why is it considered "low odds" in horse breeding?
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Well see his idea of a "small chance" is different to mine. 25% is a large enough percentage to make it never worth it. Although, I think a 1% chance of a lethal white foal is still too high a chance.
 
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Greedy, selfish people make me sick.
It isn't greedy or selfish when knowingly breeding two frame carriers knowing what could happen. It is simple stupidity and the destruction of a beautiful foal thinking that it is as likely to happen as being struck by lightning. If they understood that a gun had 25% chance of firing a live bullet, would they pull they trigger with it held to the head of a newborn foal? That is exactly what they are doing when breeding 2 frame carriers.

It is a shame that so many lethal white foals are born each year, some owners had no knowledge of what could happen when they bred their horses or that they were breeding 2 carriers. Then there are the breeders who knowingly breed frame carriers and know the risks. The risks are never worth the gamble and should be easily avoidable with a simple $25 test per horse.
 

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A barn I used to board at had a paint mare they bred that had a lethal white foal. It was heart breaking... I was the only one there when the mare delivered and my heart just sank when I saw the foal. They refused to put the foal down because they didn't believe it wouldn't survive. It was awful. :(

They made plans to breed the mare back to the same stud the next year. I made plans to move my horse.
 
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I will be honest, before I started looking at studs to breed Lilly to, I wasn't all that familiar with OLWS... but with the internet now, there is absolutely no reason not to do research. Type in "equine genetic disorders" and you get 1000's of results.
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If i EVER had a foal die i would want to know the reason WHY! If it was a freak accident i want to know what happened, if it was caused by the mare, then she will never be bred, if it was from the stud id never breed to him again AND if it was a genetic disorder i would breed (or not breed) accordingly. Seriously? It was a year of that mare's life you will not get back, a sad pointless death, and a crapton of money down the drain. I cant understand people's thought processes!
 

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In a nutshell, they don't develop the muscles that move the intestine. So digested food gets to there, and stops. They die either from the compaction or from a perforated intestine. It takes about 72 hours, or three days, for the foal to die, and in that time, they basically have colic and are in pain for the whole time.
 
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