View Full Version : Albino horses
9th Nov 2004, 02:56 PM
I saw a thread about this recently, and the general consensus seemed to be that they dont exist. I looked into it and found that in america there is an Albino Horse Society, and also found lots of pics. Unfortunately most werent close up enough to see the eye - but I did find one:
So just out of interest why is it that they cant exist? I thought you could have albino anythings? And the Albino Horse Society certainly thinks so! :p
Jo and Hecs
9th Nov 2004, 03:07 PM
There is a "white" gene--not albino, but true white--which does exist in horses. It's called "lethal white" and any horse born with this gene tends to die quickly. It has a lot of associated complications.
I'm not sure that there are true albino horses, but albino is a mutation; it is possible. The Albino Horse people may have it right, or they may be fooling themselves ;)
9th Nov 2004, 03:13 PM
I've seen an "albino" horse with blue eyes - would it need to be colourless iris (i.e. pink from the blood vessels) to be true albino ?
9th Nov 2004, 03:21 PM
According to equine world;
Albino/Cremello: There is no true Albino in the horse but Cremellos have often been referred to as Albinos in the past. The body, mane and tail of a Cremellow horse is extremely pale, and can range from almost white to a pale cream. The skin is pale and so they can be particularly prone to sunburn during the summer months. The eyes are blue.
From what I can tell 'Albino' seems to be an American breed/type? Rather like Pinto or Palomino..?
Found this horse with the little footnote I have added below:
Misty has blue eyes. Blue eyes are a trait of pinto horses (and Paints). Misty will be registered as a Pinto (Misty IS NOT a carrier of the Lethal White Allele OLWS.)
They also added:
xxxMisty is NOT a carrier of the Lethal White gene found in Overo, Tobiano and other horses with pinto or paint bloodlines. The Sabino pinto color pattern doesn't usually manifest this genetic defect. Below are links to web sites discussing the letal white syndrome. Some are quite easy to read and others are more detailed in genetic information.
Letal White is a genetic defect found mainly in overo pinto color patterned foals. It appears in Paint horses mostly, but can appear in any breed. The defect must be carried by both parents, and when it is the foal generally dies within 3 days of birth. The defect affects the intestinal track making it impossible for the foal to survive.
Horses can be carriers of this defective gene. A blood sample sent in for genetic testing can determine this. If you are planning to breed your pinto horse (Paint especially), to an overo, be sure both parents are tested... mare and stallion. Responsible Paint breeders will usually have had their overos tested. Tobianos can carry the defective gene, too, so they should also be tested. If you choose not to have the horses tested, you are taking a chance, but the odds are about 50%.
But it never mentioned the word 'Albino'.
9th Nov 2004, 03:31 PM
Confusing... I thought that in every species you could get albinos, I've seen an albino giraffe! (Well, not first hand but a video)
9th Nov 2004, 04:05 PM
my first pony was white with blue eyes - i thought he was a cremello.
i thought albinos had to have pink eyes?
9th Nov 2004, 04:06 PM
sugar - my colour genetics reference book is in Sweden :mad: I hate living this way :rolleyes:
The horse I saw was not american breed but could have been "cremello".
edit: who needs books :D http://www.equinecolor.com/chestnut.html
cremello is a chestnut with two "cream" dilute genes.
So it is not breed specific but is possible whether a breed includes chestnut and cream genes.
9th Nov 2004, 04:45 PM
An albino does have pink eyes, yes - albinism is the result of a complete lack of pigment in hair or eyes, with the result that eyes appear pink. Blue eyes are still pigmented.
True whites are not always born with the lethal white gene - that gene is linked to frame overos, while the white gene is thought to be different. The lethal whites die within hours of birth, but there are surviving true whites, which suggests the two genes are separate.
White horses can also occur where more than one pattern results in a white appearance - a horse with both tobiano and overo genes may have so many white patches and markings that no colour is actually seen - but they're not true whites.
White is separate from 'colour' genes like overo, dilute genes that cause cremello, and grey genes that cause the eventual whitening of any horse carrying them. It's not a very common gene.
Strictly speaking these horses are not albino - they carry a white gene that causes white coat colour and pigment in the eyes (some true whites have brown eyes). Albinism is common in rats, rabbits, and has appeared in paople too - but is so rare in horses it's virtually unheard of. The term albino is just used to describe a white horse.
10th Nov 2004, 05:23 AM
I'm pretty 100% sure that in order for a horse to be albino it has to have pink eyes, not blue. Do you have the website address for the Albino Horse Society?
I've seen an albino peacock before and it was absolutely stunning! :)
10th Nov 2004, 07:01 AM
There have been cases where lethal whites have (I'll have to try remember which website that was ) lived to adulthood. I dont know how healthy they were..?
There has never been a confirmed albino horse. Though it has been said that in theory they may exist.
Most horses submited for inspection as albinos have turned out cremellos or 'maximum expression" sabino or similar. i.e they had blue eyes.
Chev's on to it.
10th Nov 2004, 12:32 PM
Found This (http://www.doubledilute.com/printablealbino.htm) too...
I'll try and find the address for you Swiftwindspirit - although I heard of them through another website which was talking about them. Does that make sense? :p
19th May 2007, 02:38 PM
An Albino is any animal that has pink skin & red/dark pink eyes with pure white hair. Albino horses are very rare & are not a breed as they come in all sizes. So I'm not sure why there's a breed called Albino in America when their horses have dark or blue eyes? :confused: Sadly the majority of grey (near white) horses & Cremellos (very pale Palominos) are mistaken for Albinos.
I've only ever come across 2 true Albinos, one was an Arab X thoroughbred stallion belonging to my late fiance during the 1970s & another was a Welsh pony I saw at a riding centre in Wales. Both had pink eyes with red pupils.:)
Few weeks ago, the mother of the family I work with, told me her son has just started learning to ride & one of 3 ponies he rides, is a pure white pony but with one blue eye & one pink eye... so what do we call this pony? Half an Albino or what? :confused:
19th May 2007, 03:13 PM
But if you look at albino sites for humans they all suggest that there are different types of albinism, some with more pigment then others - some albino people have brown/blue eyes etc
While not the "true" albino horse that always has pink eyes and is highly sensitive to sunlight, the type-2 albino miniature horses match the the DNA research cited by NOAH.
The "true" albino (with no pigmentation present, including the characteristic pink eyes) is called Tyrosinase Related Oculocutaneous Albinism.
Any animal may be albino, including cold-blooded animals, and equine albinism is indeed present in the miniature horse. It is not true that the "Lethal White Overo" (LWO) syndrome, (a pseudo-albino gene) prevents an albino horse from surviving. The lethal white gene is associated primarily with Overo horses, and LWO is a totally unrelated genetic mechanism from albino genes. There are two types of albinos, homozygous recessive albino and heterozygous recessive albino.
Maybe thats what the 'Albino horse society' is getting at?
In humans with albinism, they call it "type 2 OCA1B" and they have blue eyes. That quote is from a site that suggests horses can have this type 2 form aswell.
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