Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

First case of Fragile Foal Syndrome found in thoroughbred horse
"While clearly a distressing condition for affected foals and their owners, the good news is that this lethal syndrome can be avoided with testing and careful mating selection" - Jessica Roach, PhD Student at the RVC.

The disorder was previously thought to affect only warmblood horses

A new study has discovered the first case of Fragile Foal Syndrome (FFS) in a thoroughbred horse, a condition previously found only in warmblood horses.

The collaborative study was carried out by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the University of California Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) and Rossdales Laboratories, Newmarket. 

FFS is a connective tissue defect caused by a change in DNA within the procollagen-lysine, 2-oxoglutarate 5-dioxygenase1 (PLOD1) gene. It causes extensive skin lesions and musculoskeletal abnormalities, and the affected foals are aborted, stillborn or euthanised soon after birth owing to their condition.

As a autosomal recessive disorder, foals are affected if they have two copies of the mutation, so genetic testing is important for informing breeding decisions. This discovery is therefore particularly significant in highlighting the necessity of testing thoroughbred horses before breeding. 

PhD student at the RVC, Jessica Roach, said: “Pregnancy loss, stillbirth and neonatal death remain an important source of reproductive losses for horse breeders worldwide.

"Over the course of my PhD we have collated a large biobank of tissue and data from late term pregnancy losses through the generous co-operation of UK and Ireland TB stud farms and Rossdales Laboratories, Newmarket. 

“This has allowed us to explore the risk factors and pathology of many different causes of abortion and stillbirth. The collaboration with UC Davis and Lexi Grillos provided a fantastic opportunity to explore Fragile Foal Syndrome in our TB population and identify the first TB affected individual. 

“Whilst clearly a distressing condition for affected foals and their owners, the good news is that this lethal syndrome can be avoided with testing and careful mating selection.”

The study is published in Equine Veterinary Journal, and is available online at beva.onlinelibrary.wiley.com.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

VET Festival returns for 2022

News Story 1
 VET Festival, the unique CPD opportunity, is returning for 2022, running from 20 to 21 May.

The outdoor event, held at Loseley Park in Guildford, will feature 17 education streams, with a dedicated stream covering veterinary wellness, leadership and management topics. The festival will feature veterinary speakers from around the world, with the opportunity to collect 14 hours of CPD across the two-day event.

Alongside veterinary education, VET Festival will also offer wellbeing activities such as yoga and mindfulness activities, with the popular VETFest Live Party Night making a return for 2022.

Tickets available here.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Free webinar on rearing better heifers

A free webinar is being held by Volac to help dairy farmers rear better heifers. Marking the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board's (AHDB) 'Great British Calf Week', the webinar is scheduled to take place at 12.15pm - 1.45pm on Thursday 3 February 2022.

Focusing on the management input needed to produce better heifers, the webinar will explore practical tips for better calf rearing, sustainable growth through effective calf nutrition, and the importance of sustainable ingredients in calf milk formulas.

Anyone interested in attending can register here.