Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome

Working with foals and providing medical care for them can be one of the most rewarding parts of veterinary medicine. Unfortunately, just like any other species, foals can get sick, which can be very stressful for those involved in breeding and caring for these feisty but vulnerable little creatures. There is new research being conducted every day to make sure we can give newborn foals the best chance at survival. With the development of genetic testing and genome mapping we are discovering new ways to prevent genetic disorders before the fetus is even created, increasing the likelihood of breeding strong, healthy foals. For example, in 2007 a gene responsible for Hereditary Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia (HERDA) was identified. HERDA affects certain families of Quarter Horses, particularly in the sport of cutting, and results in hyper-extensible skin, scarring, and severe lesions across the neck and back in both females and males,…

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