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I know albino horses are near impossible to produce. If they do live to term, it's for no longer than 48 hours because the same gene causes the failure of an organ to fully develop (somewhere in the gastrointestinal tract). Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what I remember.

What genes cause a 'true white' horse? What is the difference between a true white and albino?

Also, I am somewhat familiar with perlinos and creamellos, but how are they different from true whites? Most that I've seen are a creamy color, but some are definitely white. How do you know the difference between one of those and a true white?

Here are two pictures I have come across on a 'true white' horse that isn't supposed to be white at all. What would make that happen?



 

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The gene for albino doesn't exist in horses. For a horse to be an albino it would have to have pink eyes, among other things. The horses in the pictures have brown/blue eyes.

That's all I know on color so someone else will chime in for the rest!
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The foals that don't live to term or only live for 48 hours are called LWOS foals. This stands for Lethal White Overo Syndrome. These foals are from the mating of two horses who are have the frame gene. It has nothing to do with albinism.

Cremellos and perlinos are the product of two horses who carry the cream gene (palominos, buckskins, smoky blacks, etc) and are called double dilutes. Two copies of the cream gene equals a cremello or perlino, depending on the base coat color. The shade that the double dilute horse appears to be depends on other genetics expressions (same as why chestnuts are different shades).
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Dominant white - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are a group of genes called Dominant White that can cause anything from white spotting to an entirely white horse. The horse will have pink skin, white fur and dark eyes. This is not albinoism as evidenced by the lack of pink eyes. Albinoism, to my knowledge, has never been found in horses. The gene that causes the foals to die within 48 hours is the frame gene in homozygous form.

The difference between a cremello and a dominant white horse is the genes at play. A cremello/perlino/smoky cream is the result of two copies of the cream gene diluting the base coat colour. A dominant white horse can be born any colour and then, much like with grey horses, white-out as it grows. The difference is the genes that cause the colour change. As well, grey horses have dark pigmented skin, dominant whites have pink skin.
 

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White horses are the result of another (or multiple) gene acting upon their true color. Horses have a base color of red or black. Then the other dilutes come into play to give us the variety of coat colors that we see.

So where you see a "white" horse, you're actually looking at a red or black base colored horse with several other color genes acting upon it. Such as sabino, splash, tobiano, or overo. These genes expressed in their maximum form can make a horse look completely white.

The cream gene acts on both base color horses, but will be expressed differently depending on if it is homozygous (2 copies) or heterozygous (1 copy). A cremello is the result of a chestnut with homozygous cream. A perlino is a bay with homozygous cream.

Frame overo in it's homozygous form is lethal for the foal carrying it. This is why you must never breed two frame carrier together. Frame is a dominant gene and will create a homozygous foal aka a dead foal.

There is also dominant white, which I do not know much about. I believe that it cannot be homozygous or it will terminate in embryo. Dominant white causes de-pigmentation of the skin and hair. I think they are the only horses considered to be 'true white' but I could be wrong.
 

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I know albino horses are near impossible to produce. Not near. Are impossible. Albino horses do not exist. If they do live to term, it's for no longer than 48 hours because the same gene causes the failure of an organ to fully develop (somewhere in the gastrointestinal tract). Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what I remember. That is a completely different gene from albino. What you are thinking of is frame overo, where when heterozygous (OO) a foal does not develop a complete digestive tract.

What genes cause a 'true white' horse? What is the difference between a true white and albino? Albinos of any animal have pink skin and pink eyes (caused by depigmentation - the pink coloring of the eye is really you being able to see the capillaries and vessels in the eye. True white doesn't really exist in horses either, unless you want to count Dominant White which is a pink-skinned, white-haired, brown-eyed horse.

Also, I am somewhat familiar with perlinos and creamellos, but how are they different from true whites? Perlino is two cream genes diluting a bay/brown horse - cremello is two cream genes diluting a chestnut horse. They are not white, but very very light colored. Most that I've seen are a creamy color, but some are definitely white. How do you know the difference between one of those and a true white? The only horse I would consider "true white" would be Dominant White, but even that's a stretch because Dominant White doesn't always cause all-white horses.
Yeah, pretty much what everyone else said.
 

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Thanks everyone. Never claimed to be an expert in genetics haha. Still trying to figure it out. Apparently the information I was given was way off ****.
Unfortunately, a lot of what people are given as the "gospel truth" regarding horse colors/genetics is antiquated and incorrect.
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Palomino = sorrel base 1 cream gene.
Cremello = sorrel base 2 cream genes. Appears light to creamy gold and blue eyes.


Buckskin = bay (agouiti) base 1 cream gene.
Perlino = bay (agouiti) base 2 cream genes. Also creamy gold color but black legs, mane, tail, are darker often orangey color. Cream does not dilute black pigment well. Also has the blue eyes.


Smokey black = black horse and 1 cream gene. No visible effect except horse may sunfade more.
Smokey cream = black horse with two cream genes. A lot that I have seen have an orangey hue about them.


Dominant white and sabino are two very similar genes which have similar genetic origins. It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between the two unless genetic testing is done. Both these genes can cause a horse to be all white or nearly white to roan-like patches on the body. I do know that sabino likes to keep pigment around the eyes even if the horse is all white or has another white pattern there, this gives the eyeliner around the eyes. This is my max sabino pepper. He is almost completely white except for the inside of his ears. The outside of his ears, his neck, chest, shoulders, and hindquarters have red ticking and any where that pigmented hair is comes with black skin. Pepper is mostly pink skined except where the ticking is which has mottled black spots. This often confuses people and many max sabino's are mistaken as Appaloosas. Notice that the gene does not remove colored hair from the inner ear. Pepper was born a Medicine Hat paint.





Now max sabino's and dominant whites can have blue eyes as well. Blue eyes are caused by being a double dilute (2 cream) and frame and splash white genes. Frame in his homozygous form = 100% death. Horses with frame or splashed white don't have to have blue eyes though but they have the possibily when inherited in the womb. Now your probably well they can all have blue eyes. In my experience double dilutes blue eye and paint blue eyes have a different hue to them. I'll try to get a visual for you.


Typical jagged horizontal irregular frame markings.


The smooth dipped in paint looking splash markings.


Let me know if I'm wrong somewhere or missed anything.
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Double dilute horses typically have a pale blue baby blue hue about them.



Blue eyes caused by frame and splash have a vibrant sky blue color to them.


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I have never ever seen a horse like this! That is so pretty! Do you know what the horse's name was? Doesn't appear to be bad on the confo. either.
 

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I have never ever seen a horse like this! That is so pretty! Do you know what the horse's name was? Doesn't appear to be bad on the confo. either.
I found out for you that is gamblin' man.

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Double dilute horses typically have a pale blue baby blue hue about them.



Blue eyes caused by frame and splash have a vibrant sky blue color to them.


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You beat me to it :)

Double dilutes can also have a greenish hue to the eyes as well:


The way I see it, a "white" horse is white because of one of 3 effects:
- Graying. These horses are born any other base color, and gray out over time, eventually becoming solid white. Their skin remains the same color it was, though- gray under colored areas, and pink under any white markings that were there at birth.

- Pinto patterns. Maximum sabino, dominant white, etc. are examples of pinto horses that essentially covered in one giant white spot. The hair is completely white, and the skin underneath is an unpigmented pink. They may have dark eyes, or they might have vibrant blue eyes (the frame and splash pinto patterns will sometimes produce blue eyes like this)

- Double dilutes/psueo double dilutes. Horses with two cream genes are considered double dilutes- the base color has been affected with a "double dose" of dilution producing anything from white to a very pale shade of the base coat. The skin is pink, but is still lightly pigmented. Horses with a cream gene + another dilution gene (like champagne or pearl) can have a very similar appearance to double cream dilutes and are often called pseudo double dilutes.

Oh, and there are some appaloosas that are essentially completely white, too. But appaloosa still confuses me :)
 
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You beat me to it :)

Double dilutes can also have a greenish hue to the eyes as well:


The way I see it, a "white" horse is white because of one of 3 effects:
- Graying. These horses are born any other base color, and gray out over time, eventually becoming solid white. Their skin remains the same color it was, though- gray under colored areas, and pink under any white markings that were there at birth.

- Pinto patterns. Maximum sabino, dominant white, etc. are examples of pinto horses that essentially covered in one giant white spot. The hair is completely white, and the skin underneath is an unpigmented pink. They may have dark eyes, or they might have vibrant blue eyes (the frame and splash pinto patterns will sometimes produce blue eyes like this)

- Double dilutes/psueo double dilutes. Horses with two cream genes are considered double dilutes- the base color has been affected with a "double dose" of dilution producing anything from white to a very pale shade of the base coat. The skin is pink, but is still lightly pigmented. Horses with a cream gene + another dilution gene (like champagne or pearl) can have a very similar appearance to double cream dilutes and are often called pseudo double dilutes.

Oh, and there are some appaloosas that are essentially completely white, too. But appaloosa still confuses me :)
Thank you got the stuff I missed :)
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According to this testing facility -- Pearl Dilution (Barlink Factor)- Horse Coat Color DNA Testing
Pearl is it's own gene, separate from Cream. SO, I suppose that means all horses with two cream genes should be called cremello and the term "perlino' reserved for horses which carry two pearl genes? That could get quite confusing though, I suppose, since the two genes manifest similar looks, when homozygous.
 

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According to this testing facility -- Pearl Dilution (Barlink Factor)- Horse Coat Color DNA Testing
Pearl is it's own gene, separate from Cream. SO, I suppose that means all horses with two cream genes should be called cremello and the term "perlino' reserved for horses which carry two pearl genes? That could get quite confusing though, I suppose, since the two genes manifest similar looks, when homozygous.
Noooooo. Pearl is completely different from Perlino. Pearl needs two copies or another dilution to effect coat color. A Perlino is a bay horse with two cream genes. A buckskin is bay with one cream gene to clarify the difference. Pearl is a completely different dilution seperate from cream, dun, champagne, and silver.
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According to this testing facility -- Pearl Dilution (Barlink Factor)- Horse Coat Color DNA Testing
Pearl is it's own gene, separate from Cream. SO, I suppose that means all horses with two cream genes should be called cremello and the term "perlino' reserved for horses which carry two pearl genes? That could get quite confusing though, I suppose, since the two genes manifest similar looks, when homozygous.
As Peppy pointed out, perlino doesn't refer to anything to do with pearl. However, pearl and cream ARE related. They are both mutations on the same locus. This means that a horse cannot be homozygous for cream while carrying a pearl gene, and the reverse.
 
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