Thursday, May 17, 2018 - Verity Malcom
European breeders are becoming increasingly aware of the risks of the inherited autosomal disorder Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome (WFFS). Many are systematically testing their breeding stallions for the gene. WFFS is caused by a single mutation in lysyl hydroxylase 1 (LHl) gene. The frequency of the mutant gene in Warmbloods appears to be approximately 7.80%.
Affected foals display extreme skin fragility characterized by tearing, ulceration, etc. from contact with normal surroundings. Small skin lesions can occur anywhere on the body, but are most noted on pressure points. In addition to skin wounds, lesions may also be found on the gums and other oral cavity mucous membranes. Joints are lax and hyperextensible with fetlocks being most dramatically affected.
A number of studbooks are taking a proactive stance as described in Eurodressage here
More information about skin malformations found in a neonatal foal who tested homozygous positive for Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome can be read here
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