Friday, June 1, 2018

Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome Resources for Breeders

The subject of Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome is a hot topic among breeders today, not surprisingly. Resources and information about WFFS are not all together in one place, which makes it hard to get all the information you need to make informed decisions regarding WFFS in your breeding program. The WBG - WFFS Awareness Group on Facebook is a closed group, but they have assembled a list of resources and shared it with us. I will be adding to this list, which you'll find below.

What is WFFS?

According to Wikipedia, Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome (WFFS) "is a genetically induced disorder seen in horses, specifically those belonging to the Warmblood breeds. Affected foals have extremely fragile skin that tears or cuts from contact with normal surroundings, are subject to infections, and are often euthanized within a few days of birth. The disease is caused by a mutation of a gene and is incurable."

WFFS is a recessive trait, which in this case means that horses can be:

  • N/N - they have two copies of the dominant allele (version of the gene). They do not have or carry WFFS and cannot pass it on to their offspring. They are clear of the mutation.
  • WFFS/N - they have one allele with the WFFS mutation and one without. They are perfectly normal, but are able to pass the mutation on to their offspring some of the time. Horses who are WFFS/N are carriers of the mutation but do not have the defect.
  • WFFS/WFFS - they have the defect and usually are aborted before they are born. If they are born, they are as described above and must be euthanized. There are no adult horses with WFFS/WFFS status, because they do not survive.
Because WFFS is recessive, in order to get a foal with the defect you would have to breed a carrier to a carrier. If you breed a carrier to a horse that is clear of the gene, you will never get a foal with the defect. 

Reference Links

Original Patent submitted by Cornell:
Testing in the USA:
Testing in Germany:
Testing in England:
  • Laboklin
  • Animal Genetics (Europe), 1 Mount Charles Rd, St. Austell Cornwall, PL25 3LB, ENGLAND: Telephone: 44 (0)1726247788
Testing in Australia:

No comments:

Post a Comment