High Percentage of foals with Hernias - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-16-2012, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Izee, Oregon
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High Percentage of foals with Hernias

I have read that umbilical hernia's in foals are only supposed to be around 2% of foals...however, in this breeding program...(I DO NOT OWN OR AM RESPONSIBLE FOR) almost 50% of the foals this last year had umbilical hernias!
Most are out of the same stallion. The mare's are not dewormed more than twice a year and they are fed cattle hay....
Would that high percentage of hernia's be from nutrition or hereditary.
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-17-2012, 04:39 PM
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No! It is not from nutrition.

Yes! It can be very inheritable. About 15 or 20 years ago, I went to a ranch production sale. All were high percentage Hancocks and most were blue roans.

Very early into the sale it became evident that almost all of the foals and yearlings from one of the ranch's stallions had umbilical hernias. Oddly enough (well, maybe not so oddly) that particular stallion was consigned to a big sale and was sold for a lot of money just before this sale and the word would be out on all of the foals with hernias.

The vet and geneticist I talked to after that (which was long before any genetic testing was available) thought it was a recessive gene and that particular stallion, being from a strong inbreeding / linebreeding program, could have been bred to several mares that also carried the same gene. I have not heard anything definitive since gene testing has become commonplace.

I would be interested to know if this breeding program was such that this stallion was related to many of the mares that produced this problem.

There are certainly bloodlines and individual stallions that produce a very high number of crypt-orchids and mon-orchids. Again, this is very inheritable. I was told (again before genetic testing days) that this was carried by the females and may also be a recessive that requires both parents to pass it on in the demonstrated form. I would be interested in learning more about both.

visit us at www.wolferanch.com

Last edited by Cherie; 12-17-2012 at 04:46 PM.
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-19-2012, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Izee, Oregon
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Hairpin Roan Tiger Quarter Horse
That is the sire's pedigree.

Here are some of the dam's who produced a hernia foal
Hnf Choloate Quarter Horse
Spearsix Delight Quarter Horse
Miss Peppys Retreat Quarter Horse

Not a whole lot of common pedigree between the mares and stallion.

This mare is a daughter of the above stallion that they bred to their other not related stallion and the foal had a hernia.
Hd Tiger San Badger Quarter Horse

The mare's all have King...Poco Bueno and King Fritz lines.

I don't know if it would be the same as humans but my mom has a weak lining and has had multiple hernias, myself and 2 of my sisters have also had hernias... my father has never had any issue nor any of his family (parents or siblings). This would suggest that it is hereditary and dominate carried on the moms side, correct? In other forums, people have said that the hernias in horses is carried on the sires side.
There are many things wrong with this breeding program and watching from the sidelines is not so much fun. I am trying to get some knowledge out of the whole ordeal, find some good out of it.
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