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Can EHV3 be passed to future generations?

This category is to be used for general mare questions that are not covered by other category descriptions.

Moderator: Jos

Can EHV3 be passed to future generations?

Postby AtomicRain » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:42 pm

My herd mare was tested positive for EHV3. Since the diagnosis, she went on to have 2 foals. The first foal was born with congenial cataracts (currently 90% blind) and has numerous but not serious health issues. Foal #2 (filly) is overall healthy, born 3 years later. The vet examining the first foal feels that the cataracts are caused by the dam's EHV3. If we were to breed foal #2, would there be a possibility of the resulting generation being a carrier of EHV3 or have health issues due to EHV3?
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Re: Can EHV3 be passed to future generations?

Postby Jos » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:30 pm

EHV-3 (Coital exanthema) is a virus, not a genetic condition. Transmission therefore has to be via a viral mode, not a genetic one. If the mare is in a transmissible (infectious) condition, then passing it on to the next generation is possible - but by viral modality, not genetic.
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
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Re: Can EHV3 be passed to future generations?

Postby AtomicRain » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:23 am

Thank you for your reply!
Do you think the blindness in foal #1 (born 2 years after the mare was diagnosed) is a result of a different environmental or genetic trigger?
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Re: Can EHV3 be passed to future generations?

Postby Jos » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:10 pm

EHV-3 (Coital exanthema) manifests as lesions on the external genitalia of the mare and stallion. While the lesions are open and for about a week thereafter, the animals are highly infectious. Transmission is though physical contact of the animals, but also via fomites (e.g. buckets, water troughs, grooming brushes and cloths, stall walls, etc.). I am not aware of any association with blindness, the condition being limited to the external genitalia of the horses.
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
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