Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This is how it's done!

Sometimes I get a bit discouraged when I see breeders from one particular breed who do not support the current research.  IMO, the research could be so much further along with more support, but even worse is that many of these same people try to thwart the ongoing research.  Despite the fact that many breeds have been diagnosed with DSLD-ESPA to date, I am aware of only one group of people from one breed who seem intent on turning this disease into some kind of personal affront. 

The aforementioned breeders have gone so far as to accuse researchers of making up a disease to dissuade buyers from purchasing horses from anyone but themselves.  Newsflash:  Many of the people who support the research are OWNERS of affected horses.  We don't breed horses, we BUY them.  You say your sales have dropped.  Well, if you want to treat this as a business, then know this.  Potential customers (like me) expect YOU to do YOUR part in ensuring they get a QUALITY product.  The stigma of this disease has been following your breed for YEARS -- long before the research started.  If you had supported research back then, perhaps this wouldn't be a problem for you NOW.  If you really want to know WHY your revenues have dropped, take a look at the following and see how professionals within other breeds/registries take a proactive approach to their breed's problems. 

From The Horse:

Test Allows Arabian Breeders to Scan for Inherited Neurologic Disorder

Equine cerebellar abiotrophy is a debilitating neurologic disorder that affects Arabian horses almost exclusively, and for which there is no treatment or cure. But, thanks to the work of veterinary researchers, breeders now have access to a new DNA test that could help them detect carriers of the condition so they do not propagate the problem in their herds.
The cerebellum is the part of the brain that plays an important role in the integration of sensory perception, coordination, and motor control. Equine cerebellar abiotrophy kills neurons in the cerebellum, causing head tremors and a lack of balance. Unfortunately, there is no treatment. Affected horses are routinely euthanized before adulthood because of the risk they pose to themselves and others.


Researchers at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory have developed an indirect DNA test to help determine if a horse is a carrier.


While gene therapies to treat the disorder could become available in the future, Penedo said she doesn't expect to see them for years. Besides, the new test can front-load a solution to the issue.
"A cure is not needed if one doesn't produce affected foals," she said.

And from:

Test Reveals Arabian Sire as Carrier of Neurologic Disorder

A prominent Arabian horse breeding operation based in the United Arab Emirates recently became the first to publicly announce one of its stallions is a carrier of cerebellar abiotrophy (CA). Albidayer Stud released the news that World Champion Arabian stallion Marajj is a carrier for the inherited neurologic disease, for which a DNA test recently became available.

"We decided to test Marajj because a foal of his was suspected of having CA," said Dawn Martin, Marajj's breeding manager. "The decision to make an announcement wasn't really a difficult one to make. An announcement like this, about a horse of his caliber, will only help the breed, as well as the research into CA."

HOORAY for all the Arabian horse breeders and owners who confronted this issue head on and took steps to eliminate it!