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Confirming Genetic Mutations Responsible for an Orthopedic Disease in Horses

Osteochondrosis (OC), a developmental orthopedic disease commonly diagnosed in young horses, is caused by abnormal cartilage development. OC can vary from mild to severe, and it nearly always requires surgical intevention to prevent ongoing joint damage. Researchers have identified several genetic mutations associated with OC in a population of yearling Standardbred horses from the United States. They now plan to validate these findings in a second, unrelated population from Norway. Identification and verification of genetic mutations are crucial to developing a genetic risk model of OC. This model could then be applied to individual horses to guide management changes and facilitate early intervention in high-risk horses. Knowing which horses have a high risk of developing OC would also allow for informed breeding decisions to reduce disease incidence.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annette M McCoy, University of Illinois

Sponsors: United States Eventing Association (USEA)

Study ID: D15EQ-813