Connemara Ponies At Greater Risk For Ocular Cancer, Study Shows

A genetic risk factor for ocular squamous cell carcinoma that has been identified in Belgian draft horses, Haflingers and Rocky Mountain Horses has been proven to affect three additional breeds: Holsteiners, Belgian Warmbloods and Connemara ponies.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common cancer in horses. Drs. Margo Crausaz, Thomas Launois, Kathryn Smith-Fleming, Annette McCoy, Kelly Knickelbein and Rebecca Bellone evaluated three cases of ocular cancer with DNA testing and confirmed that each horse had two copies of the variant gene: one from each parent. The risk allele frequency was highest in Connemara ponies. With this information, the scientists recommend Connemara ponies be DNA tested for the gene to assist in breeding selection and management in an effort to limit the possibility of inheriting a copy of the gene from both sire and dam.

Because Holsteiners and Belgian Warmbloods had lower allele frequencies, the research team recommend that additional warmbloods with cancer be evaluated to determine the importance of genotyping.

Read the study here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

The post Connemara Ponies At Greater Risk For Ocular Cancer, Study Shows appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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