Understanding the genetics causing equine recurrent uveitis in horses

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"Help us understand why horses get recurrent uveitis!"
Animal: Horses & Ponies
Keywords: equine, horse, recurrent uveitis, ERU, blind, eye
Type: Genetic study
192 Participants
Background and purpose
Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) is the leading cause of blindness in horses, marked by repeated episodes of inflammation of the uveal tract of the eye. Appaloosa horses, known best for their white coat spotting patterns (termed leopard complex or LP), are eight times more likely than any other breed to develop this disease and four times more likely to go blind, suggesting genetics plays a major contributing role. However, little is known about the specific genetic factors involved. The objective of this study is to determine the genetic factors contributing to ERU in multiple horse breeds.
What happens in this study
  • Examination of the horse’s eyes by a veterinary ophthalmologist
  • Photography of the horse to document coat color and any abnormalities found in the eyes
  • Collection of mane hair and blood samples will be utilized to examine the horses DNA
  • Discussion of the horse’s medical history
  • Follow up phone calls or emails may be necessary if any questions about the horse’s medical history arise after the examination.
  • If any horse objects to having their eyes examined, to having mane hair pulled, or blood drawn, these procedures would not be performed.
Pet owner responsibilities

If you allow your horse to participate in this study, you will be responsible for covering any injury sustained while participating and further diagnostics or therapy associated with the diagnosis of ERU if a presumptive diagnosis of ERU is made for your horse.

Participation requirements

We are looking for horses with known pedigrees.

Benefits and risks of participating
The results of this work may help to lower the incidence of this ocular disease, help breeders to make informed mating decisions, and be utilized by veterinarians to predict risk of developing disease for earlier diagnosis and treatment.
PDF Docs
Clinical Trial Informational Flyer
Study duration and period
We expect that participation in this clinical trial will last for about 15 minutes but may take as long as one hour.
Recruitment period
From Oct. 18, 2018
UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
1 Garrod Drive
Large Animal Clinic - Ophthalmology
Davis, CA 95616
Dr. Rebecca Bellone

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