UC-Davis Releases HERDA Test

Earlier, we reported that Cornell University had released a test for the hereditary disease HERDA, found predominantly in Quarter Horses but also reported to have occurred in Appaloosas with lineage to the Quarter Horse stallion Poco Bueno and his close relatives. Zippo Pine Bar, whose bloodline remains popular in several breeds, including the Appaloosa, is just one of Poco Bueno’s many descendants.

The University of California-Davis has now also released a test for the disease. The university’s study of a control group suggested that 3.5 percent of Quarter Horses are heterozygous carriers of the disease. Because carriers don’t show symptoms of the disease, which include loose skin, lesions and inability for wounds to heal, owners and breeders rarely know they have a carrier. The disease itself manifests when a carrier is bred to another carrier, and the resulting foal inherits a copy of the HERDA-causing gene from each parent.

Most symptomatic horses diagnosed with HERDA are euthanized because they aren’t able to be ridden and have a low quality of life due to the condition of the skin, scarring and lesions along their backs. Horses don’t typically show symptoms until they are 2 years old.

The DNA test is available through the UC-Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory. Further information, including pricing for the test, can be found at

1 Comment

  1. betty bermensolo Said,

    March 11, 2008 @ 10:18 pm

    Please send me the Dna test requirements by email

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