We have a beautiful 8 year old APHA mare who had a very promising performance career cut short by a diagnosis of distal tarsitis (also called bone spavin?) in her hocks. As the arthritis became more apparent with age, we tried hock injection therapy. After an allergic reaction to the hock injections we elected permanent joint fusion surgery at the University of Georgia a couple of years ago. With time and patience she has slowly returned to the show pen but will likely never recover to the level of potential we saw as a youngster. We would like to breed her to a stallion with no history of joint problems but don't want to go through this again, especially if by doing so we will carry on a genetically deficient trait. This will be her first breeding. Is her predispostion to the distal tarsitis form of arthritis considered a dominant or recessive trait? We have heard that serveral other horses from her sire have exhibited hock problems at 4-5 years of age. We have no information on her dam's history.
I would not risk it. Esp since the sire seems to throw horses with hock problems - that points to a genetic link.
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