Horse Protection Society of North Carolina Inc.

Appaloosa's Coloration and Night Blindness

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Several studies have been done concerning the correlation between the lack of spots in Appaloosa's and night blindness.  This can be a very important concern for owners since they may not realize their horse cannot see at night.  The condition is named congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB).
 
Appaloosas are wonderful, sturdy, intelligent horses.  Being aware of the condition of night blindness will help owners provide the proper care for their horses.
 
HPS is a proponent of horses spending as much time outside as possible, coming in to be fed, and turned back out.  Our horses have a low night light in their barns so they are comfortable to come and go as they wish.
 
A horse with CSNB should be kept up in a stall at night with hay and water to keep the horse safe.  Night blindness could cause the horse to panic and become seriously injured.  A stable owner told HPS memberrs that she realized that a boarded Appaloosa had night blindness when the horse placed itself in the cneter of the field every evening as night fell and was still there come early morning.  The poor horse had nothing to eat or drink all night long.  The problem was solved when the horse was put in a stall every evening with a low light left on.
 
Appaloosas with CSNB should not be bred!  It will only pass the genital component on to other horses. 

Appaloosas20coloration.JPG

In the chart above, the second row shows horses more prone to congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB).  Owners of LP/LP horses were surveyed and many did not realize their horses had night blindness.
 
This is an important issue whether you own an Appaloosa, or plan to breed or purchase one.

Horse Protection Society of N.C.
2135 Miller Rd  China Grove, N.C.  28023
hps@horseprotection.org  (704) 855-2978
501(c)3 Nonprofit