In 1998, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) recognized Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP) as an ‚Äúundesirable genetic trait‚Äù in American Quarter horses and began recommending that members test their foals with ancestors known to carry the gene. To help in the testing process and encourage responsible breeding and horse ownership, AQHA has offered $40 HYPP testing kits to its members for many years.
Today, AQHA is once again working with the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), and Veterinary Genetics Laboratory to offer a testing kit for both members and non-members alike to check for the following genetic diseases:
- Glycogen branching enzyme deficiency (GBED)
- Hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia (HERDA)
- Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP)
- Malignant hyperthermia (MH)
- Polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM)
According the AQHA, ‚ÄúThe effects of these diseases are wide-ranging, from mild and manageable to severe and terminal. Passing these diseases on to successive generations often causes unnecessary suffering and also leads to financial losses for breeders.‚Äù
The cost to obtain a kit and then have the testing performed for all five genetic diseases by the university is $85 for members and $125 for non-members. AQHA will send out the kits, owners will collect the DNA samples and then send their completed kit to the UC Davis.
The collection of a DNA sample is relatively simple. It requires pulling 15-20 hairs from the horse‚Äôs mane or tail. It is important to inspect the hairs to make sure that the follicle (white bulb at the end of the hair) is intact as this is where the DNA resides.
Once the AQHA receives the results from UC Davis, they will notify the owners and put the results on the horse‚Äôs record and certificate of registration.
If you would like to order a testing kit please contact the AQHA at (806) 376-4811 or visit www.aqha.com.