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Genetic testing for PSSM1 now available from APHA

From predicting foals’ color and patterns to identifying inherited genetic disorders, APHA members know the value in genetic testing in their horses. Now, Paint Horse owners have a new tool at their disposal: testing for Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy–Type 1 is now available through APHA’s Disease Diagnostic Package.

APHA will begin offering the PSSM1 test May 11 as part of the association’s Disease Diagnostic Package. This $125 package also includes testing for HERDA (Hereditary Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia), HYPP (Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis), GBED (Glycogen Branching Enzyme Deficiency), OLWS (Overo Lethal White Syndrome) and MH (Malignant Hyperthermia).

To order the Disease Diagnostic Package for your horse, complete the DNA Hair Kit Order Form available online at apha.com/forms/registration-forms [updated form coming soon] or order the test kit over the phone at (817) 222-6423. APHA will send you a genetic testing kit and instructions—simply provide hair samples from your horse’s mane with the required information; results are usually provided within 10 business days after samples are received by APHA’s diagnostic testing partner, the University of California–Davis.

PSSM—an excessive and abnormal accumulation of sugar in muscle cells—is a common form of tying-up found in stock horses. Symptoms include muscle stiffness, sweating and reluctance to move. Researchers believe a mutation in the skeletal muscle glycogen synthase gene causes more than 90 percent of PSSM cases in some breeds. This particular mutation is dominant, so the horse only needs to inherit one copy to be afflicted.

Why Test: If your Paint Horse is not a HYPP carrier and shows signs of tying-up, he is a candidate for testing. However, it is strongly recommended that owners consult with their veterinarian before undertaking genetic testing and treatment. Testing can determine if the horse carries the PSSM1 mutation and whether he is heterozygous or homozygous. Knowing your horse’s PSSM1 results—and those of other genetic disorders—can help you provide better care for your horse and make smart decisions about your horse down the road.

For more information about the new PSSM1 test or APHA’s other available genetic test packages, please contact APHA MemberCare at (817) 222-6423.

[Reprinting all of part of this story is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provide back to apha.com.]

About APHA

The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.