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Medical Index
First Posted: Dec 18, 2008
Aug 30, 2012

Hereditary Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia (HERDA/)aka Hyperelastosis Cutis


The images above and an excellent and comprehensive article on HERDA can be seen and read on the American Quarter Horse Association web site: HERDA/American Quarter Horse Association

What is HERDA? What breeds get HERDA? Can it be cured? Can it be controlled? What effect will it have on a horse with HERDA? Is it genetic? Can a horse be tested for it?

"Hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia (HERDA) is a genetic skin disease predominantly found in the American Quarter Horse. Within the breed, the disease is prevalent in particular lines of cutting horses. HERDA is characterized by hyperextensible skin, scarring, and severe lesions along the back of affected horses. Affected foals rarely show symptoms at birth. The condition typically occurs by the age of two, most notably when the horse is first being broke to saddle. There is no cure, and the majority of diagnosed horses are euthanized because they are unable to be ridden and are inappropriate for future breeding. HERDA has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance and affects stallions and mares in equal proportions. Research carried out in Dr. Danika Bannasch's laboratory at the University of California, Davis, has identified the gene and mutation associated with HERDA..."

Continue reading this article by following this link which takes you to Davis University's article on HERDA and to a place you you can get information about testing a horse for HERDA.

For More Information:

HERDA/University of Illinois Extension
Ocular Findings in Quarter Horses with Hereditary Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia

Medical Index