A Quarter horse filly bred from two horses affected with HERDA (hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia) was observed clinically and its skin histologically for the 1.5 years of its life. Severe signs of the disease did not manifest until 1.5 years of age, and were not temporally related to saddling. Histological comparison to an age-, breed- and sex-matched control did not show any consistent diagnostic features. Monitoring of the proband substantiated previous reports of (i) the autosomal recessive nature of the disease, (ii) mares affected with HERDA being able to foal without damage to the skin or reproductive tract, (iii) HERDA foals appearing phenotypically normal throughout the first year of life, and (iv) demonstrated that histological interpretation of skin specimens from grossly normal skin may be insufficient to differentiate HERDA-affected horses from controls.
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