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Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA) - Please Read


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Poll: Questions on CA (270 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you know what Cerebellar Abiotrophy is? Yes/ No

  1. Yes (190 votes [71.97%])

    Percentage of vote: 71.97%

  2. No (74 votes [28.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.03%

Do you know that CA exists in Arabian horses? Yes/ No

  1. Yes (215 votes [81.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 81.44%

  2. No (49 votes [18.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.56%

Do you know of any CA affected horses or known CA producers? Yes / No

  1. Yes (110 votes [41.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.67%

  2. No (154 votes [58.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 58.33%

Would you be willing to send blood samples for analysis of your affected CA horse and/or blood samples of its sire, dam, full or half-syblings or grandget which you might own at present? Yes / No

  1. Yes (249 votes [94.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 94.32%

  2. No (15 votes [5.68%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.68%

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#11 szedlisa

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 07:41 AM

Here we go again, Lisa. Better put your survey on this site.


Okie Dokie Aramar:
I have asked Dean if ABN has the facilities to add a ABN Poll to this thread with some new questions. In a past survey done last July: 81.63% knew that CA existed in arabians, 3.6% did not and 15.31% didn't know what CA was. The majority had just learned about CA within the last six months. And a whopping 72.45 % out of 294 votes had never known of a CA affected horse or a CA producer, ie. Carrier. Personally I felt that was a pretty poor show for a site with over 4000 members. The voting of course is annonymous ( as it should be) but maybe voters did not realize that. <sigh> The support has been so terrific on ABN that I am hoping more people will participate. :)

Lisa

#12 szedlisa

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:16 AM

By the way... a genetic pedigree looks different than the normal 5-8 extended generation horse pedigree.
Here is a sample: Genetic Pedigree

This Link shows you the Optimal Pedigree Types from which Blood Samples are required.

Thanks for Looking...
Lisa

#13 Montana

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 03:29 PM

Hello, some of you know me from other boards. I currently own a filly with a relatively mild case of CA. "Mild" in that she can never be ridden, but she is now coming four, has learned not to fall or run into things as much as she used to, and so I haven't had the heart to put her down. But I am willing to share what I know in hopes that we are able to support those looking to develop a DNA test for this condition so that other horses do not have to be produced and to suffer from this disease.

((For background for those of you who do not know me, No, I didn't breed her, I was dumb enough to buy her as a yearling without doing a vet check, even though I've owned Arabs for over 35 years, been around horses all my life and should have known better! (The last time I do this kind of "favor" for some old friends, no matter how horse poor they are!) The people I bought her from are honest folks who didn't realize there was anything wrong. They just had too many horses and never paid a lot of attention to her.))

What I have learned over the last two and a half years I've owned this filly has been eye-opening.

First off, the veterinarian community does not know a lot about this disease unless they happen to have ties to the major breeders or have seen--and recognized--a case in the past. In other words, cases of "wobblers" in Arabs are NOT classic "wobbler's"-- they are either CA or another genetic condition we know even less about called OAAM (Occipital-Atlantal-Axial Myelopathy). Classic Wobblers is seen more often in Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Paints and other breeds with heavy thoroughbred influence.

My filly, May, stumped three vets. The best one--and he IS a good vet, a horseman himself (I'll forgive him for being a quarter horse person<grin>), thought she had a concussion. A second thought she had read somewhere that maybe there was some kind of genetic thing with Arabs, but she wasn't sure, and vet number three just shook her head, said "that's just not right" quite a few times, and suggested I test her for EPM and drop three grand on a myelogram for CVM (yet another spinal column disease in the wobbler's family). Except that we don't have EPM in Montana...and the vet that had the concussion theory also does chiropractic and ruled out any problem stemming from her neck other than some bones out of alignment due to her multiple falls.

I had a person on a message board tip me off that I should look into CA, and the F.O.A.L. web site also has a very small bit of material on the condition as well, I finally had her diagnosed off a videotape sent to a highly respected retired veterinary neurologist from Cornell. He explained to me that May had CA (with the caveat that nothing in diagnosis can ever be 100% certain, at least not without putting her down and examining her brain), and said that symptoms of CA are very distinctive, and not apt to be mimicked by any other condition.

What I also have found is that the condition was first listed in the veterinary literature in 1966, where the Cornell Veterinary Journal reported on a foal at UC Davis. The following year, 1967, the study Liza mentioned at the major east coast facility that lost 6% of their foal crop one year and 8% the next, all to severe cases of CA, was published. So the industry has been aware of this disease for at least 40 years.

I have also learned that it is very difficult for researchers to obtain DNA samples from affected horses. Between the reality that a lot of vets don't recognize the condition when they see it and the additional reality that people understandably are not comfortable admitting they have a genetic lethal in their midst, research has been very slow.

The major research universities are willing to protect the privacy of anyone willing to submit samples, and if you have knowledge of an affected foal, I encourage you to help with Lisa's efforts. Research is ongoing both in the USA and in Europe, and I was told by one researcher that with enough samples and enough funding, the gene could be located within 2 to 3 years of concerted effort.

Please help our beloved Arabians by spreading the word that this disease exists, it is a serious concern for the breed, and that if we all work together, we can develop a test that will help us all breed happier, healthier horses in the future.

#14 Marcia Friesen

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 04:34 PM

Hey Montana good to see you.

I just wanted to say thanks to Lisa for getting this thread started here. I had just heard about this a year ago and thank heavens have never had a foal with these symptoms but it is this kind of information sharing that is extremely important to any serious breeder.

All too often, things get misdiagnosed because a vet is not familiar with breed specific problems such as this. As breeders, we must become better educated to these things and when we are a victim of such genetic problems, we must contact people doing studies such as those mentioned here to provide samples for research so that we can help stop the spread of genetic problems.

Thanks to all of you who have provided the information not only on CA but also on the researchers.

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#15 aramar

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 05:20 PM

Hi, Montana. I've been wondering about your filly. Sounds like she is managing hereself quite well. I am sure glad this has been brought to the surface again. We can thank Lisa for her interest and diligence.
Marty

#16 szedlisa

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 05:44 AM

Good to see you both here, Marcia & Montana!

The Annual Conference held in San Diego on the Horse Gnome Project will take place this coming week and apparently some new exciting announcements are to be made. I know that the research on HERDA is almost completed (skin disease found in quarter horses) and that giant steps have been taken on the completion of the Horse Mapping, which sadly seems to have been the last domestic animal to be mapped. Penedo and Leah from UC Davis came up with information in their 2006 report that they have pinpointed the area where the CA allele might be and have established the fact that Scna8a is not the gene for CA, nor is another one researched, SCNN1D, a similar gene. The macrosatellite marker in this region shows almost complete segregation with CA, although genetic markers do not. They will continue looking for other candidate genes in this same area as it seems to be enough corrolation to warrent the presence of the CA allele. Now that report was published a year ago this month, so fingers are crossed that new advances have been found. They have only had four horse families to work with which is why it is so important to get them more material. This is sad when you think they have over 6000 DNA samples in their archives according to the VGL site. Those were not pulled for DNA reserch on CA.

Hence the efforts on our behalf to get the word out and samples and filled in Questionairres to them.

Lisa

#17 szedlisa

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 03:49 AM

http://www.vgl.ucdav...vices/horse.php

Edited by szedlisa, 25 February 2009 - 04:27 AM.


#18 szedlisa

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 12:20 PM

Great News !!!

The 2007 March Issue of the Arabian Horse World has an excellent article on Genetic Diseases written by Cindy Reich in her column Stid Farm Diaries ( page 277). The author of the article, Cindy Reich, is one of the judges for the Arabina Breeders World Cup, being held in Las Vegas in April. Cindy has been a licensed judge in the Arabian division for 29 years and has judged Arabian national shows in the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Brazil, Australia and Venezuela. She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Bio-Agricultural Science and worked as the breeding manger and artificial insemination technician for numerous breeding farms over the past 25 years including Paramont Farm, Lasma East, Varian Arabians, Aries Arabians, Fidelis International, BARA Farms, Wrigley Arabians, KEG Arabians and Wolf Springs Ranch. Cindy did post graduate work in equine reproduction at University College in Dublin, Ireland. Currently, Cindy is managing all client mares and stallions for the Equine Reproduction Laboratory at Colorado State University. I had originally met Cindy at Bara Arabians when I was breeding mares to *Nilo.

Cindy mentions the Swiss Research on CA and the efforts beng made to further the research on this neuroloical condition. Thanks to all the tree shaking by many of you , we are fianlly getting mainstream coverage on CA.

I could not be more pleased.

So sweet talk your mares and/or stallions if you think they may be a related family member and send in those hair samples. We need them!

Lisa

NOTE: The Swiss have closed their research as of Feb 2009.

#19 Fadtastic

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 06:45 AM

I have had a wake up call, my new filly has possible ties to CA.
What a nightmare.
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#20 Marketing

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 07:56 AM

Sorry to hear about your filly Fadtastic ! Is there a way to get copy's of that article lisa?