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WFFS mutation in Thoroughbreds investigated
Mutation is only present at a very low frequency

Mutation is not genetic risk factor and only present at very low frequency

Researchers at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine have published the results of a study that investigated the frequency of the warmblood fragile foal syndrome (WFFS) mutation in Thoroughbreds.

The study demonstrated that this mutation is not a genetic risk factor for catastrophic breakdown and is only present at a very low frequency in this breed.

Warmblood fragile foal syndrome is inherited in an autosomal recessive fashion, meaning that a horse needs to have two copies of the mutation to be affected. WFFS is a fatal genetic defect of connective tissue characterised by hyper-extensible, abnormally thin, fragile skin and mucous membranes.

More than 700 Thoroughbreds were tested for the WFFS mutation, including 22 catastrophic breakdown fatalities. The allele frequency among all samples was 1.2 per cent and the carrier rate (or horses with one copy) was 2.4 per cent. None of the horses in the study had two copies of the mutation and only one of the 22 catastrophic breakdown cases carried the WFFS allele.

Since the allele was found to be present in the Thoroughbred population – albeit at a low frequency – genetic testing could eliminate the possibility of breeding two carriers with the potential of producing an affected offspring.

The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory offers a WFFS genetic test and recommends testing for all warmblood breeds.

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Cats Protection launches Christmas animation

News Story 1
 Leading feline charity Cats Protection has launched a heartwarming Christmas animation to raise awareness of the important work it does. The animation is based on a true story of a kitten that went missing earlier this year. Freezing cold and hungry, the kitten was dumped in a box on a roadside and somehow became separated from her brother and sisters.


Thankfully there is a happy end to this tail, and Libby - now named Misty - was eventually reunited with her littermates. Misty’s owner, Amy Smith, said: “Misty has settled amazingly well into our home, she has found a best friend in my daughter Lily and likes to follow her around the house. She also loves to chase bugs in the garden. We feel very lucky to have her.” 

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WSAVA launches certificate programme focusing on companion animals in One Health

The first certificate programme focusing specifically on the role of companion animals in One Health has been launched by the One Health Committee (OHC) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).

The online programme, which is free of charge for WSAVA members, has been developed in recognition of the growing impact of companion animals in human society. Pet ownership is becoming more popular globally, and this has increased the implications for One Health, regarding the human-companion animal bond. The WSAVA OHC hopes that this course will bridge the knowledge gap between veterinary surgeons and human physicians. New modules are being added weekly, with a total of 20 modules expected to be available by early 2020.