To DNA or Blood Type
That is the Question
by Joyce Firkus
With the advancement of genetic science we now have a new way to not only parent verify (PV) our horses, but also have a permanent identification a finger print so to speak on each horse registered. By pulling only about 60 hairs DNA profiling, PV, and Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis or HYPP testing can be preformed. With that in mind I would like to take this opportunity to go over the changes.
For over a decade Blood typing was the only means available to horse registries to determine not only a horses true heritage, but was also used as the horses personal ID. In order to get that sample of blood sample however it usually required a veterinarian visit. The blood sample had to be handled with much more care. It had to be cooled in the refrigerator for a few hours prior to shipping and packaged with care, and mailed over night, and all the additional cost. If the blood sample were not readable for any reason (mostly to warm), you would have to start all over again, and incur the expense once again.
UC Davis is the diagnostic laboratory for the AAHIASM, IALHA, AQHA and APHA. For years they have kept most of the blood samples on file, stored in case there was a need for further testing of that horse. So if you had a horse blood typed 10 years ago you can contact the respective registry where it was done and ask them to convert this blood on file to DNA for a minimal fee. UC Davis no longer except or will perform blood typing. Everything is now DNA profiling.
This is where we are running into a snag. Many of the purebred Andalusians were registered using blood typing results. The horses being registered today are done using DNA profiling. Because these are two very different types, they cannot be mixed when comparing information for parent verification. In other words, if one parent is DNA'd and the other Blood typed, the offspring cannot be parent verified with just a DNA hair sample. Either the blood typed parent has to be converted to DNA or the offspring has to be DNA'd through blood not hair. This is where you come in. Make sure you look over the registration application form. In section #3 were the stallion owner signs. If "DNA profiled" is circled no (or not circled at all), the person registering (not the AAHIASM) must do one of two things, 1. contact the stallion owner and request that they (Stallion owner) contact the IALHA and request the blood on file for that parent be converted to DNA or 2) the person registering can pay the additional fees for the blood type with DNA Analysis kit. Please remember the results of either test belongs to the registry from where it is purchased. Each registry has their own individual rules on which they are willing to share the test results and/or case number to. Some are shared some are not. With that in mind it is the person registering the horse responsibility to get ALL the information need to register their horse.
I hope this article clarifies your questions regarding DNA and Blood typing. But if you have some additional questions, please feel free to contact the office..
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