Updated: Sep 8, 2020
Dear USYAKS member,
Physical and functional abnormalities are present in all breeds. The full disclosure of genetic
abnormalities is useful information to the membership, as it allows breeders to minimize the
impact of any problems or eliminate the defect from the breed.
In general, congenital defects in livestock are not indicators of poor herd stewardship. At this time, USYAKS is not aware of any genetic problems with our collective herd, but we wish to be proactive. We ask for your cooperation during the 2021 calving season.
In the case a defective calf is identified:
1) If possible - contact Dr. Steffen (402-472-1434; email@example.com) or Dr. Petersen (402-472-6328; firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to disposal of the calf to facilitate proper diagnostic sampling.
2) Collect a sample from the calf for DNA analysis (ear or muscle tissue, frozen).
3) If available, collect a blood sample (EDTA tube) from the sire and dam.
4) Photograph the calf.
5) Include pedigree information. Note: the animal’s pedigree and the owners’ information will be kept confidential and used only for the purpose of research.
Sometimes, as in the event of deafness, the defect is not immediately obvious. In these cases, we ask that you make the report as soon as you become aware of the abnormality.
Not all abnormalities are genetic. We are interested in tracking abnormalities that MIGHT be
genetic. It is not possible to make an exhaustive list of defects that may be of genetic origin, but a partial list is below.
List of some abnormalities:
Of Specific Interest: Deafness, Cleft Palate
General: Small, Large, Cannot Stand, Weak, Dwarf, Mummified
Hide and Hair: Full term but hairless, Abnormal skin development, Albino
Bones and Joints: Short or missing vertebrae, Missing bones, Short Spine, Joints not
connected, Stiff joints, Wide hip bones, Narrow pin bones
Abdomen: Umbilical hernia, gastroshisis (external bowels at birth)
Muscles: Not coordinated, Spasm, Withered, Missing, Contracted
Limbs: Absent, Short, Thickened, Paralyzed, limber, Additional legs, crooked, Absence of
Feet: Toeing out, Extra feet, Long hooves, Only one toe, More than two toes, Feet turned back
Head: Enlarged, Short, Thick, Small, Wide forehead, Depression between eyes, Bulging
Forehead, Peaked Opening in Forehead
Jaw: Won’t open, Short, Long, Impacted molars, Cleft palate, Absent, Discoloration of teeth
Eyes: Closed, small eye, no eyeballs, Pop eye, Cross eyed, Blind, Hairs in eye, Film over eye
Nose: Fused nostrils, Pug nose, Wry face
Tail: No tail, Stub or Bob, Kinky or Crooked, Extra tail
Rectum, Vagina: High, Common Opening, No anus, Missing or abnormal sex organs,
Testicles: Missing, Unusual size, Unusual number
Miscellaneous: General Swelling, Fused Teats, Fifth quarter, Short or long gestation
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