HERDA

I have heard bits of gossip and bits over the internet regarding the disease HERDA. I have heard that it is a problem in certain linebred horses. Do you have additional info on the diseas? I was under the ...I have heard bits of gossip and bits over the internet regarding the disease HERDA. I have heard that it is a problem in certain linebred horses. Do you have additional info on the diseas? I was under the ...

Story originally posted by: Michael Lowder, DVM, MS

Dr. Lowder,

I have heard bits of gossip and bits over the internet regarding the disease HERDA. I have heard that it is a problem in certain linebred horses. Do you have additional info on the diseas? I was under the impression that AQHA would have a report from researchers at their convention, but haven’t seen anything about it on their website.

Thanks
Karen Boehm

Karen,

You are quite right in that there is little published information on this subject. HERDA stands for Hereditary Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia; it is characterized by skin lesions that develop under saddle areas and not discovered until around two years of age in most horses.

It is genetic – an autosomal recessive disease whose pattern is similar to Huntingtons (both parents need to have the gene). If a horse you are looking to buy is already being worked under saddle, chances are he/she is clear.

For more information, go to http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu. I will have a more detailed paper on it later this week on HorseCity.

Thanks,
Dr. Lowder

Editor’s note: In addition to Dr. Lowder’s coming HorseCity.com paper there are two additional articles on this condition which can be found in our Health Section.