Breeding to/from Appaloosas, Quarter Horses and related breeds

KarynK

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2008
Messages
2,514
Location
Hants
Over the last week there has been some very sad news for breeders in the UK. The dominant gene causing Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM) has been confirmed and suspected in a number of horses.

I have had some long conversations with a very good friend of mine who had the devastating news that one of her in foal mares has tested positive for the disease gene in heterozygous form (1 copy). This is a horrible thing to have to face as a breeder, but she has been courageous enough to publish the results and a warning on her website. We all know individuals in the horse world that will see things differently but there should be no stigma attached to positive tests for this gene, it is very unfortunate and nobody?s fault, but people like this are to be applauded for being very proactive in dealing with the problem and being open and transparent in the process.

This disease with the symptoms of Azutoria is found in many breeds such as Draft, Draft crossbreeds, and warmbloods. There is a small positive in this for QH related breeds for the future. Unlike other breeds still awaiting the discovery of a gene responsible there is an easy to do low cost genetic test available with about a week or so turnaround for results. This has come about mainly because of the generous funding provided by the American Quarter Horse Association and research conducted at the University of Minnesota. PSSM type 1 which the genetic test identifies accounts for more than 90% of individual QH and related breeds exhibiting the symptoms of PSSM. There is a link to the University website below for those wanting more information.

This gene IS NOT a reason to avoid breeding from or to these breeds, in fact it is exactly the opposite as unlike other breeds there is no risk of inheriting the PSSM/1 dominant diseased gene providing all breeding stock used are tested clear. So please, if you are breeding from or to these breeds ensure that the at-risk parent/s is/are tested prior to mating.

The Appaloosa Horse Club UK has acted and is in the process of requiring all licensed stallions be tested for 2011 and mares and youngsters will be compulsorily tested from 2012, results are to be displayed on the horse?s passport.

I believe that currently the British Appaloosa Society also has testing in place for Stallions presented for licensing.

I am gathering voluntarily submitted information from those in the unfortunate position of having positive horses (Many thanks to them for their help, you know who you are). If anyone wishes to pass me information on individuals testing positive it will be held in confidence and not disclosed, but the information would be very helpful in researching the extent of the problem in the UK, and in time to help focus testing. It would be useful to have the name of the horse, but I would at least need the result of the test and the parent?s details.

The disease symptoms can vary in individuals and are very dependant on care regime and diet but it does require some effort on the part of an owner and the results are varied. The owners of the affected horses so far are in agreement that this should be dealt with robustly and openly and their message to all breeders is please ask stallion owners for test results if they are not already advertised and test any mares from these breeds before mating.

With some difficult but necessary decisions now we can quickly irradiate this gene from our breeding stock.

If you are considering buying a horse you should ask for test results first and if no results are available ask for the test to be done.

University of Minnesota link
http://www.cvm.umn.edu/umec/lab/home.html


Genetic testing link

http://www.horsedna.co.uk/
 
Joined
22 September 2009
Messages
4
Karyn, there are two more positive horses to add to your list. Meikle Obney Stud have tested all their stock and had a positive result from their 2 year old filly Oor Premier Rose ( they are still awaiting results of the fillies half sister).

The dam of this filly is owned by Scotia stud and the dam - Haverlands Panache had also tested positive.

Both horses are heterzygous for the gene.

Lets all use work together and try to stamp it out!!!!
 

KarynK

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2008
Messages
2,514
Location
Hants
Oh dear I am very sorry, I will keep my fingers crossed for the other filly, another breeder I know has two by the same horse one with one without so I hope that's the case here.

But thank for sharing the information I will put them on the list. Very responsible of the studs to test I think that with a bit of pain now we can get rid of it very quickly if everyone gets on board, which I think most now are.

I have heard recently from one of the scientists at the University of Minnesota, who is praising British breeders for taking positive action against the problem.
 
Joined
22 September 2009
Messages
4
Thought this my be usefull for sample submission

Animal Genetics UKUK & European Enquiries/Sample Submission
Animal Genetics UK,
PO BOX 107, Truro,
Cornwall, England.
TR1 2YR.
Tel/Fax: 01872-262737.
E-mail: info@horsedna.co.uk
www.horsetesting.com

For sample submission information, please see the Order Forms page.
 
Joined
30 March 2011
Messages
6
Hello all.

As an Appaloosa stud owner, I have had my stallion and most of my mares tested, all of whom have come back N/N for PSSM. I have a few more in the process but the results will be filed the correct way with the APHC UK who are the affiliated breed society in the UK to the APHC USA.
As a stud breeder, I am disheartened that people have chosen to name and shame others, as we have a society who have taken all of this on board and have new rules and procedures in place to eliminate the disease.
My advice to others concerned about PSSM would be to visit the APHC UK website at http://www.aphcuk.org/web/aphcuk/index.cfm and follow the procedures given, so that all youngstock, stallions and mares can be recorded the correct way, and will be eligable for registration. This is because sire's and dam's that have not yet been tested will not have any youngstock eligable for registration until a PSSM test result is filed.
 

magic104

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 April 2006
Messages
6,156
I have had some long conversations with a very good friend of mine who had the devastating news that one of her in foal mares has tested positive for the disease gene in heterozygous form (1 copy). This is a horrible thing to have to face as a breeder, but she has been courageous enough to publish the results and a warning on her website. We all know individuals in the horse world that will see things differently but there should be no stigma attached to positive tests for this gene, it is very unfortunate and nobody?s fault, but people like this are to be applauded for being very proactive in dealing with the problem and being open and transparent in the process.

This gene IS NOT a reason to avoid breeding from or to these breeds, in fact it is exactly the opposite as unlike other breeds there is no risk of inheriting the PSSM/1 dominant diseased gene providing all breeding stock used are tested clear. So please, if you are breeding from or to these breeds ensure that the at-risk parent/s is/are tested prior to mating.

The Appaloosa Horse Club UK has acted and is in the process of requiring all licensed stallions be tested for 2011 and mares and youngsters will be compulsorily tested from 2012, results are to be displayed on the horse?s passport.

I believe that currently the British Appaloosa Society also has testing in place for Stallions presented for licensing.

I am gathering voluntarily submitted information from those in the unfortunate position of having positive horses (Many thanks to them for their help, you know who you are). If anyone wishes to pass me information on individuals testing positive it will be held in confidence and not disclosed, but the information would be very helpful in researching the extent of the problem in the UK, and in time to help focus testing. It would be useful to have the name of the horse, but I would at least need the result of the test and the parent?s details.

The disease symptoms can vary in individuals and are very dependant on care regime and diet but it does require some effort on the part of an owner and the results are varied. The owners of the affected horses so far are in agreement that this should be dealt with robustly and openly and their message to all breeders is please ask stallion owners for test results if they are not already advertised and test any mares from these breeds before mating.

If you are considering buying a horse you should ask for test results first and if no results are available ask for the test to be done.

University of Minnesota link
http://www.cvm.umn.edu/umec/lab/home.html


Genetic testing link

http://www.horsedna.co.uk/
I actually find this post very positive

Quote "Karyn, there are two more positive horses to add to your list. Meikle Obney Stud have tested all their stock and had a positive result from their 2 year old filly Oor Premier Rose ( they are still awaiting results of the fillies half sister).

The dam of this filly is owned by Scotia stud and the dam - Haverlands Panache had also tested positive.

Both horses are heterzygous for the gene.

Lets all use work together and try to stamp it out!!!! " - Karyn did state "I am gathering voluntarily submitted information from those in the unfortunate position of having positive horses (Many thanks to them for their help, you know who you are). If anyone wishes to pass me information on individuals testing positive it will be held in confidence and not disclosed, but the information would be very helpful in researching the extent of the problem in the UK, and in time to help focus testing."

So can't be held responsible if someone makes a public statement. cclmarty perhaps should of PM'd, but as I say, I do not see why anyone would think this problem is shameful Quote "As a stud breeder, I am disheartened that people have chosen to name and shame others,"
 

Tiny Fluffy Coblet

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 January 2011
Messages
182
Name and shame? Not in my mind.

Name, offer condolences and offer respect for both bothering to test their animals and publishing the results.

There should be no shame in doing the responsible thing and testing your breeding stock as soon as the test become available then doing your best to avoid passing it on.
 
Joined
30 March 2011
Messages
6
As a responsible breeder my information and test reports are given to the APHC UK. Please bear in mind that ANY breed of horse can have PSSM. If they are freely giving you the information then that is fine, but I cant see why there needs to be another file created, and what this would gain. (keeping in mind that the breed society has all of this in hand.)
 

KarynK

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2008
Messages
2,514
Location
Hants
Staroak Stud as you probably know, I was asked to use my records and experience in genetic research to look closely at the developing problem and specifically to post this by the breeder involved in the positive tests earlier this year. Her intention was to warn other breeders about this problem BEFORE the breeding season got underway. I ran the whole content past her BEFORE I posted it and I applaud her for getting this out in the open when others would not mention it, despite her personal tragedy. I also applaud anyone who is prepared to announce their results it is their free choice and they have the option of using the PM should they wish to.

It is no longer an option for ANY responsible breeder to hide the existence of this gene in any UK breeding population or more disabled horses will be unnecessarily produced.

If you actually read my post, and from your stance I suggest not, you will see that no one is naming or shaming anyone quite the opposite in fact. What is a shame is that more people were not on board when this issue was first raised. In fact if I recall correctly some were intent on ignoring the whole thing? That was a shame really because if positive action had been taken at that point then this post would probably be unnecessary now.

For your information my records on this problem date back to 2009, when there was a general disinterest. I had my horses tested immediately on hearing of the problem and started my records which are not confined to any society and include other breeds affected by the PSSM type 1 mutation and that of it's more serious related gene Malignant Hyperthermia. I hold records of horses from around the world actually. As you also know I am in touch with scientists from Minnesota and the University of Kentucky on the matter and am able to ask searching questions of them.

If you remember I did suggest that an official testing system be adopted under the control of the registry so that a breed society could monitor the situation. Unfortunately that has still not happened and therefore the full picture will not be available if people do not announce their results. I am in a position to offer anonymity as all I am interested in is the parentage and I have no interest in society politics, just the future of the breeds that have these two genes.

This is actually the first I have heard that the society that you represent is asking for privately obtained test results to be submitted. This is a surprise to me as a member, may I ask what is intended to be done with the ones that are supplied to you?
 
Joined
30 March 2011
Messages
6
All my test results are submitted to the APHC UK and i put copys on my web site for everyone to see , what i am breeding is free from PSSM . There is no society politics ,it is about haveing your horses free from PSSM . I will be having my sports horse mares tested as well as any breed of horse can have PSSM .i think that everyone should know this .No one is having a go at any one and i am sorry you think that .
 
Last edited:

KarynK

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2008
Messages
2,514
Location
Hants
I would like emphasise that the ApHC and it's UK affiliate is not the only breed society affected by this gene and that collating results from its breeders alone will not give a true picture of the extent of the problem in UK affected populations, as indeed will collecting data and simply storing it. I am aware of horses outside of that register that have tested positive which is very helpful in looking into the immediate and indeed deeper origins of the disease gene in the UK.

This matter has to also be publicised to raise awareness in potential buyers especially those importing any of the affected breeds from their country of origin, where none of the societies are currently taking counter measures.

I am happy for you that none of your horses so far have been shown to be affected, but there are people out there with breeding stock testing positive which is a shock for them and they, quite understandably want answers.

NB testing of unrelated breeds whilst commendable and useful for baseline testing is unlikely to yield a result, unless the breeding of the horse contains QH or related breeds. The PSSM type 1 mutation is found in QH related breeds, so we have somewhat of a head start over other breeds with PSSM, some of which are mentioned above, they can only biopsy for diagnosis in our breeds we have a genetic test.
 
Joined
22 September 2009
Messages
4
Meikle Obney Studs, yearling fill out of Haverlands Panache also tested positive
(heterzygous for the gene).

This is NOT a name and shaming Game its quite the opposite in fact!!!!!!

In the unfortunate position of having positive horses sharing info will help the breed in the long run!!!

just wish we had the info back in 2009!!!!!!
 

templewood

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 June 2009
Messages
157
I have an Appaloosa x PRE x TB. Is it possible to have her tested? I haven't bred from her so far, but intend to in the future. Where do you think it originally came from in the QH? Thoroughbred?
 

KarynK

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2008
Messages
2,514
Location
Hants
Meikle Obney Studs, yearling fill out of Haverlands Panache also tested positive
(heterzygous for the gene).

This is NOT a name and shaming Game its quite the opposite in fact!!!!!!

In the unfortunate position of having positive horses sharing info will help the breed in the long run!!!

just wish we had the info back in 2009!!!!!!

I'm so sorry cclmarty but thanks for the information and the support, the in foal mare in my original post foaled yesterday a super filly and the test has gone off, it's the owners birthday next week so I am keeping my fingers crossed for her that she gets this wish. When she gets the results I'll update everyone.
 

classicalfan

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 November 2010
Messages
696
Location
At the end of my tether
We have cared for two horses here with very severe cases of this disease - even light exercise can trigger an attack. The end result can be devestating for the owners and very distressing for the horses who suffer terribly in an attack - in the really bad cases the horse is on the ground unable to move and please bear in mind that one of the muscles affected is the heart. It is a genetic disease and, having seen the consequences, in my view no horse who has it should be bred from.
 

KarynK

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2008
Messages
2,514
Location
Hants
Hi Templewood

Yes you can have the test, this will tell you if she has the PSSM Type 1 gene, which is the one seen in QH related breeds, so from that part of her heritage you can rule out PSSM. But other breeds do have the problem but no responsible gene has yet been found, though the University of Minnesota are on the case. But I would be looking to test anything with these breeds in its lines before I bred.

Though some horses seem unaffected (one positive test has been hunting all season) others like Classicalfan describes are badly affected from a very young age and lets face it in this current climate face a very uncertain future, even if given away!

Having spoken to the team in Minnesota, most of their work revolved around QH's as it was the AQHA that funded the research and as the use of the QH is permitted in the Paint and Appaloosas that is likely to be the source there. This mutation has not been found in TB's they generally suffer from RER (recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis ), which is a post exercise muscular condition where they suffer after a race. This makes sense in a performance breed as the ones that had onset of exercise problems like PSSM would have been bred out as they would be no good for racing so not bred from.

Minnesota say it is hard to pinpoint the source because the mutations that cause these symptoms are seen in a lot of horses. Unlike HYPP or something like the grey gene there is no single link back to one horse as such. That is one of the reasons why blanket testing is the best option at this time, so that we can scope the problem and certainly at the moment the testing actually is throwing up shocks, so really until the positive and negative results from enough individuals are studied we cannot really say the extent of the problem in the UK. Undoubtedly some of the evential suspected sources in the UK will be dead and beyond testing themselves, but hopefully testing of progeny will be able to at least prove their likely diseased gene status. Fortunately I am only aware of one homozygous case so far and I hope that this will be the only one.
 

KarynK

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2008
Messages
2,514
Location
Hants
Sadly I have to report that the super little black blanket filly from the affected mare in my first post has tested positive for the gene. She had a 50/50 chance but unfortunately the coin fell on the wrong side.

This is the very sad reality of the gene and her breeder is understandably devastated, but remains dedicated to testing and removing the gene from her herd. She will be keeping the filly on with a view to finding a suitable loan home for her when she is of riding age and will also be doing the same with her mother when the foal is weaned, she will of course make sure that they are not bred from this way.
 
Joined
30 March 2011
Messages
6
:D I have had all my mares and young stock and stllion tested and i am very happy to say that they have all come back PSSM N/N. We are free and now i can breed the best i can , i keep my fingers crossed for every one with there tests . STAROAK STUD
 

KarynK

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2008
Messages
2,514
Location
Hants
Since you have already said this once and chosen to bring this post to the fore yet again, I presume that you wish me to respond.

That's great you are sending the results to yourself, but again I and others ask what do you intend to do with them and how will they assist in future, are your results to be submitted to Minnesota to aid research into the care and management of these horses and are the results to be shared with other societies affected?

I am very pleased that having been so adamantly against testing in 2009 you have chosen to test your horses openly and that you have not had the misfortune to have any of them test positive.

But this post was never intended to be used as an advert and perhaps even a small show of sympathy and an offer of support for those less lucky than you might no go amiss right now?

As for the politics, after the above and feedback I have had from elsewhere I don't really need to say anything at all do I.

To all those people who are continuing to send their results to me for all affected breeds thank you very much for your support at this difficult time.
 

KarynK

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2008
Messages
2,514
Location
Hants
Hi Blanche currently in the USA there is no compulsory testing but a lot of stallion owners are testing and publishing results on their websites.

The USA has not been fast to react to these things in the past, though I believe that the AQHA have a committee that is looking at combating genetic disorders and hopefully they have learned from HYPP and will take action soon on this one, it is usually at that point that the ApHC and paints follow suit. I would not be surprised if there are plans to raise a motion with the ApHC to look at the matter sooner.

After June this year all UK based stallions licensed with the ApHC will have had to have presented their test to continue with that license, so they should be displaying their negative status on breeding information.
 
Joined
30 March 2011
Messages
6
i have sent all my reports to the APHC UK and i had 3 mares outstanding and was waiting for the reports back , if i need to register with any other club then i will send them a copy for there files , i will not be sending any reports to you as i do not see what is to gain , that is NOT having a go at any one in any way . and i DO feel for people who are waiting for there reports back as i did !!!!!!!. Please stop trying to have ago at me as i have not done any thing wrong to any one in any way . All I what to do is breed the best i can and i feel that you are trying to have a go at me . The APHC UK have rules in place and i have done what they have asked , WHAT MORE DO YOU WHAT !!!!!
 

KarynK

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2008
Messages
2,514
Location
Hants
Once again you fail to get the big picture, this affects much more than the ApHC UK! What?s the point in sending you a test if the horse involved is a Paint, Morgan, QH or another registry Appaloosa????

I?m not really surprised that you do not see what is to gain, had you done so when I first raised this in 2009, two less foal crops would now be facing inheritance of this gene. The risk would have been assessed correctly, hurtful speculation and hearsay would not be a problem, targeted testing would now be in place and the facts and figures would be available for further research for those suffering from the disease and people affected would not be asking me to do this work. NB some people asking for assistance are not members of the ApHC UK.

As for having a go you clearly joined HHO in response to this Thread only and have posted on it either to suggest that it was about naming and shaming which it never was or to post the fact that all your horses tested negative. You may feel for those awaiting tests but you did not say it and what about those breeders with positive tests?

NB Most breeders try to breed the best they can regardless even of species, but there are breeders out there who have been carefully selecting horses for decades with great success who now have to face this and they need support and answers that you cannot give them.

What more do I want? Lots actually and this thread was the start

To protect individual horses immediately by spreading awareness
To make all potential breeders using these horses aware so that no more disabled horses are produced
To promote negative horses within the breeds by informing people of the facts about the gene from all areas of breeding
To further research into the care and management of affected horses
To spread awareness of the symptoms and the test to ensure sufferers are diagnosed and treated quickly and effectively
Eventually to be able to target testing
To stop speculation and hearsay with the real facts and figures

I am as you know fully aware of the rules having helped to ensure they were put in place, but they are rules for one society and they are not fully in place for stallions until 1st June 2011, well into the breeding season and a list of stallions testing negative or not testing will not be published. The mares and foals will not be tested until 2012 and a lot of horses being tested and having symptoms are not breeding stock, so have no obligation to send in their test results, so as you can see when this thread was started on 3/3/2011 none of the rules were in place and the picture presented even to the one society you speak about was not a full one.
 
Top