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Understanding the genetics causing bilateral corneal stromal loss in Friesian horses

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"Help us find out why Friesians are at a higher risk of getting bilateral corneal stromal loss!"
Animal: Horses & Ponies
Keywords: bilateral corneal stromal loss, BCSL, Friesians, Friesian horse, horse, equine, gene, eye
Type: Genetic Study
70 Participants
Background and purpose
Bilateral corneal stromal loss (BCSL) is a potentially progressive ocular disease that can be associated with pain, vision loss and even loss of the eye. The objective of this study is to determine the role genetics plays in BCSL in Friesian horses. This study is designed to determine the incidence of BCSL in the breed, to determine the mode of inheritance if a single gene is involved, and identify candidate genes for further investigation.
What happens in this study

Participation will include an examination of your horse’s eyes by a veterinary ophthalmologist, photography of the horse to document coat color and any abnormalities found in the eyes, collection of hair samples from the horse’s mane, and discussion of the horse’s medical history. For some horses, hair samples may be collected from the mane to examine DNA for genes that may be involved in the development of BCSL. If any horse objects to having their eyes examined, or to having mane hair pulled, these procedures would not be performed.

Pet owner responsibilities

If you allow your horse to participate in this study, you will not be responsible for anything other than allowing us access to examine your horse and pull hairs from the mane.

Participation requirements

We are looking for Friesian horses with and without a diagnosis of bilateral corneal stromal loss (BCSL).

Benefits and risks of participating
We cannot promise any benefits to your horse or other animals from your taking part in this clinical trial; however, possible benefits include lowering the incidence of this ocular disease in Friesians and other affected breeds, helping breeders to make informed mating decisions, and better prediction of the risk of developing disease for earlier diagnosis and treatment.
All costs associated with the study will be paid by the sponsor/department. However, if a presumptive diagnosis of BCSL is made for your horse, any further diagnostics or therapy associated with the diagnosis of BCSL will be your responsibility. Copies of any biopsy reports from horses that have been affected with BCSL may be requested.
PDF Docs
Clinical Trial Informational Flyer
Study duration and period
Participation in this study would involve up to one hour of time per horse included in the study.
Recruitment period
From May 22, 2018
UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
1 Garrod Drive
Large Animal Clinic - Ophthalmology
Davis, CA 95616
Dr. Mary Lassaline

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