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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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#21 szedlisa


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Posted 05 May 2007 - 02:18 PM

I do have the article scanned in pdf format and in three pages.
Page 1 = 667 KB
Page 2 = 630 KB
Page 3 = 1,050 KB

I can try to upload but if it doesn't work maybe you could do it.

STUD FARM DIARIES: Genetic Diseases: Breed Responcibly by Cindy Reich, AHW, March 2007 issue.


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#22 szedlisa


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Posted 05 May 2007 - 02:21 PM

STUD FARM DIARIES: Genetic Diseases: Breed Responcibly by Cindy Reich, AHW, March 2007 issue.


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#23 Marketing



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Posted 05 May 2007 - 03:54 PM


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Posted Image

Copyright 2010



BINT SAFIERA 2000 Bay mare
SHAMS EL BINA 2002 Bay mare
NAKHDA AL SHAIB 2004 Grey Gelding<---- AL
SIHR JAWHER 2006 Bay Stallion
NADEERAH ALIAH 2006 Bay mare
ZAHRAN HAMRAH 2006 Grey mare
IMANA 2006 bay mare
MALIK AL AASIF 2007 Grey Colt
AL RAZEEL 2010 Chestnut colt for sale
SKYLER the 1/2 Arabian pinto wonder horse

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#24 Fadtastic


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Posted 06 May 2007 - 06:34 AM

Thanks for caring. Lisa has been so supportive.

This has to be so scary, for the horses too. So far my filly seems OK.

We need to fight for a test, ASAP. One victim is too many.

I will never forget with SCID, a 6 figure breeder told me "So what one dies, the other 3 are exceptional" That is just plain sick.
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#25 Judy81350


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Posted 06 May 2007 - 09:33 PM

What a beautiful baby!!! I love how she's standing.

All three of my Arabians have CA lines in them. One in particular. She is suspected of having CA herself in a light form. She is 22. Her history has shown some definite CA symptoms. She was impaled as a young horse and has been an accident waiting to happen most of her life. Fortunately she is safe to be around. When she was given to me in 1990 her stumbling didn't cause me any great concern, I just thought she was clumsy. When I sold her to my friend the same year, the horse underwent extensive corrective shoeing to help with her stumbling. It never really did help. When the mare was given back to me 16 years later I never suspected her of being afflicted with anything. I never knew CA existed. Well now that I have learned about CA and have discussed this mare at length with her previous owner and Lisa, we have come to the conclusion that this mare is a possible CA horse. She never did have that intention tremor head thing that I know of, but I didn't know her prior to her 5 year old year. I will never breed this mare. My other mare has no problems but her bloodlines are suspect. My little gelding is fine also but has suspected lines. He can't be bred anyway. lol We need a test so we can make an informed judgement before breeding. This happenchance breeding before a test is out is just insane.

#26 szedlisa


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Posted 05 June 2007 - 04:43 AM


I have been recently asked on how I would handle dealing with the potenial CA carriers? Should they not be bred at all (both mares & stallions), should all stallions deemed carriers be gelded? As of right now without testing one must have produced an affected foal to know if the parents are carriers. So how to handle this both before and after testing?

In my opinion good breeding practices consist of a program based on quality Foundation Mares for which individual stallions are used ( in the plural) to complement the mare's phenotype and genotype.

Within the Spanish bloodlines (with which I am most familiar), it has been a long accepted axiom to avoid doubling up on the mare lines. Whereas it is common to find line breeding to a specific stallion and in many cases an inbred factor to an individual stallion, repetitive usage of inbreeding or line breeding to a specifc mare is not recommended. There are many reasons for this approach. The major one being that the stallion lines have already been reduced to three in direct male descent. Further reduction of an already small genetic pool by reducing the female lines with inbreeding would reduce the genetic variation even more and jeopardize the future of the Spanish Arabian. Reducing the genetic variation not only enhances and sets the positive desired traits; it also does the same for those not so desirable traits. This applies to physical attributes as well as temperment and any hidden neurological disorders such as SCIDS and CA.

This selective form of line breeding ( ie. avoiding it in the female lines) would be a wise approach to breeding in any of the Arabian bloodlines.

Not always, but in general, Cerebellar Abiotrophy is found in Arabians with repetitive crosses to one or more carriers. Obviously the more confirmed and suspected carriers in the background of a horse, the more likely the odds are that it also will be a carrier and/or affected if bred to another carrier. At this point in time a confirmed carrier is a mare or a stallion which has produced/sired a foal with clinical signs of Cerebellar Abiotrophy and has had a histopathic diagnosis completed on the status of the Purkenje cells.

As all affected horses will produce 100 % carriers no matter if bred to a clear or carrier mate, no affected horse should be used for breeding at all. Confirmed Carrier mares should not be bred to known carrier stallions or even stallions with suspected carriers in their background. Confirmed Carrier stallions should be stated as such and bred only to non-carrier mares whenever possible. These breeding practices will not eradicate CA from the genetic pool but they will reduce the occurrance of CA and provide some sort of protection for future generations.

SCID testing has had a beneficial effect on lowering the rate of scid foals produced. Keep in mind that the owner of a scid foal knows that it will die. In order to avoid financial loss and time loss, mare owners have become more selective in their choice of stallions and in testing their own mares. With CA, even when there is a test, affected foals do not die. If only slightly affected many will not be recognized and may be used for breeding as is the case at present. A normal looking foal will mature to breeding age and will usually be bred, even if a carrier. Testing will only provide guide lines for the responcible breeder.

What is happening now, is that confirmed carrier horses are being used as breeding stock. Any affected foals are quietly euthanized. The carrier mare is rebred; produces a normal looking foal and both are sold onwards. Or, in some more responcible establishments, because carrier mares can also produce clear foals, selected daughters are kept , bred and if no affected foal is produced, will be retained in the breeding herd and the original dam sold onwards or simply retired from breeding. Testing will eliminate such a long drawn out and expensive process of identifying carrier progeny. However, at the moment that is the only way to ascertain if a mare line is a CA Carrier line or not.

Short term breeders are the cause of much of the spread of undesirable genetic conditions. They tend to breed for a quick turn over. These breeders can have very few or numerous breeding stock. Numbers are not a qualification of the description. Short term breeders do not test their own progeny's bloodlines through breeding before selling. Far too often they will continue to breed their carrier mare for a number of years before keeping a "replacement" daughter, without ever having bred any of the previous daughters themselves or test any of the sons..

A concientious breeder will want to see how the progeny breed onwards and if the correct breeding selections are being made to further their breeding goals. The short term breeders are also the ones who usually sell off their confirmed carrier stock without a word to an unsuspecting buyer that the mare or the stallion has had wierd head shaking foals. It comes down to keeping the profit/loss margin in favor for the breeder. A horse with a neurological condition is pretty hard to sweep under the rug.

It will all be up to the breeders themselves, but I do feel that horses with suspected genetic defects should be required to have a disclosure clause in any breeding or sales contract. That is just my opinion to be sure.


#27 aramar


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Posted 05 June 2007 - 06:25 AM

How are the numbers now days since the '80's. More active produced? or less?. Or are there more being recognized? I am wondering if the gene dilutes after generations. Something else to study.

#28 ShadowfaxArabians


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Posted 05 June 2007 - 07:55 AM

How do we know who some of the carriers are in our pedigrees? is there a list somewhere of past stallion and/or mares who were confirmed carriers? Are there certain lines that are more likely to be carriers and if so how do we find out which lines those are?
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#29 Burgundy Oaks

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:32 AM

How do we know who some of the carriers are in our pedigrees? is there a list somewhere of past stallion and/or mares who were confirmed carriers? Are there certain lines that are more likely to be carriers and if so how do we find out which lines those are?

Exacty! How can we practice selective breeding if we don't have names. How do I know the mares I'm selecting for my herd are or aren't potential carriers if this is so hush-hush. I do know who some of the potential carriers are, but I had that info told to me in confidence... We need more disclosure, so we can make proper choices.

Thank you Lisa for discussing this with us here.
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#30 Phanilah


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Posted 05 June 2007 - 11:30 AM

Unfortunately, until a test is developed, there is no way of knowing who a carrier is - unless they have been known to produce a CA confirmed foal. And, the only way to know that is to ASK whenever considering purchasing a breeding to a stallion or purchasing a horse (especially for use as breeding stock).

Looking to the past is of limited help - because not all "known" carriers will produce carriers and even in the case of full siblings; one could be a carrier, and the other not.....then it becomes a guessing game/witch hunt for who "might" be.

Researchers need to be supported, so a test can be developed. And, people need to be proactive in asking, and owners need to be disclosing to interested parties. The breed has managed to deal with SCID fairly well....now it's time to start dealing with the other genetic conditions.

As always, JMO!

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