Specific Conditions

Genetic Abnormality Reporting Form

  • Bovine Arthrogyrposis Multiplex Congenita (AM) aka curly calf

    There is Simmental-sourced literature discussing AM dating as far back as the mid-1980s; however, no documented cases have been established.  In 2008, the American Angus Association verified the presence of AM in two very popular sires.  These sires and their resulting generations of progeny, grand progeny, etc. have spread AM in many Angus pedigrees.  Consequently, Angus genetics entering into the ASA database, either commercial females bred to SimGenetic bulls, or registered Angus bulls and cows used to develop SimnAngus could carry AM.   Because the ASA has an open herdbook, allowing other breeds into our database and percentage pedigrees, AM could be a risk in certain cattle.  We strongly suggest using ASA’s website Animal Search function to access the most up-to-date genetic abnormality-status (TraitTrac) for each animal in our database.
    Reporting Abnormal Calves: Call ASA immediately. ASA will reimburse all expenses. Take photos or video that best display the abnormality. We will need DNA (hair or tissue) from the calf, dam and sire. (We have DNA on all A.I. sires and donor dams.) If the calf is dead, chill the carcass until ASA has been contacted.
    "Curly Calf Syndrome" the Register, November 08, Dr. Wade Shafer, ASA Director of Performance Programs
    American Angus Association information on AM
    Useful Links:
    www.redangus.org
  • Bovine Mannosidosis

    A lethal autosomal recessive disorder associated with defective catabolism of glycoproteins due to the inherited deficiency of lysomal α-mannosidase (Burditt et al, 1978). Calves generally appear to be in poor condition and undersized. Many calves will have moderately enlarged lymph nodes throughout the body and may contain mild internal hydrocephalus. Calves seem to somewhat consistently have intracytoplasmic vacuolation lesions (Jolly et al., 1978). Two primary mutations exist, one responsible for the disorder in Galloway cattle and the other responsible for the disorder in Angus, Murray Grey, and Brangus from Australia. An additional mutation showed up in Red Angus embryos transported from Canada to Australia. These breed specific mutations may have originated in Scotland and been exported (via animals or germplasm) to America, New Zealand, and Australia. DNA testing is available and is based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (Berg et al., 1997)

     

    References

    Burditt, L. J., N. C. Phillips, D. Robinson, B. G. Winchester. University of London. N. S. Van-de-Water, R. D. Jolly. Massey University. Characterization of the Mutant α-Mannosidase in Bovine Mannosidosis. 1978. www.ncbi.nim.gov. Accessed June 29, 2011.

  • Contractual Arachnodactyly (CA)

    CA, a genetic abnormality inherited as a simple recessive trait, has a negative impact on performance and productivity. Muscle development is reported consistently poor in the affected calves that survive. Severe cases have difficulty with locomotion and suckling and some die or get destroyed prematurely. 

    Because the ASA has an open herdbook, allowing other breeds into our database and percentage pedigrees, Contractual Arachnodactyly could be a risk in certain cattle.  We strongly suggest using ASA's website Animal Search function to access the most up-to-date genetic abnormality-status (TraitTrac) for each animal in our database.

    Reporting Abnormal Calves: Call ASA immediately. ASA will reimburse all expenses. Take photos or video that best display the abnormality. We will need DNA (hair or tissue) from the calf, dam and sire. (We have DNA on all A.I. sires and donor dams.) If the calf is dead, chill the carcass until ASA has been contacted.

    For Dr. Steffen's notice and description on FCS, click here

    Useful Links

    Contractural Arachnodactyly (CA; Fawn calf syndrome) written in 2010 by Laurence Denholm.

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  • Dwarfism (Angus mutation, DW1)

    There are several forms (mutations) that result in conditions labeled as dwarfism.  Short-headed (snorter), long-headed, intermediate and compressed are all terms used to describe the various forms of dwarfism.  In 2002 and 2003 the American Angus Association identified calves determined to be dwarfs. Iowa State University (ISU) provided the research to identify a molecular marker (a SNP) that could indicate carriers of this form of the dwarfism gene.  In addition to the form of long head dwarfism, molecular markers are available for genotyping both Japanese Brown and Dexter cattle  (Bull dog) for certain strains of dwarfism. Because the ASA has an open herdbook, allowing other breeds into our database and percentage pedigrees, Dwarfism could be a risk in certain cattle.  We strongly suggest using ASA’s website Animal Search function to access the most up-to-date genetic abnormality-status (TraitTrac) for each animal in our database. Reporting Abnormal Calves: Call ASA immediately. ASA will reimburse all expenses. Take photos or video that best display the abnormality. We will need DNA (hair or tissue) from the calf, dam and sire. (We have DNA on all A.I. sires and donor dams.) If the calf is dead, chill the carcass until ASA has been contacted.
    Useful Links
    www.angus.org
  • Hypotrichosis (HT)

    Obviously a recessive abnormality that displays a permanent absence and/or reduction of hair, hypotrichosis is apparent at birth.  This condition is often confused with premature birth.  Hair is thin either over the entire body or in distinct places.  For example, European Simmental brought “rat-tail” which resulted in greatly reduced hair at the tail switch.  Certain lines of Hereford are verified to carry hypotrichosis. Because the ASA has an open herdbook, allowing other breeds into our database and percentage pedigrees, HT could be a risk in certain cattle.  We strongly suggest using ASA’s website Animal Search function to access the most up-to-date genetic abnormality status (TraitTrac) for each animal in our database. Reporting abnormal calves:  Call ASA immediately.  ASA will reimburse all expenses. Take photos or video that best display the abnormality.  We will need DNA (hair or tissue) from the calf, dam and sire (we have DNA on all A.I. sires and donor dams).  If the calf is dead, chill the carcass until ASA has been contacted. 
    Some useful links: http://hereford.org/node/25
    http://redangus.org/node/214
  • Idiopathic Epilepsy (IE)

    Like most other genetic abnormalities, a single pair of genes control this epilepsy.  First apparent in calves, environmental stresses such as thermal or physical e.g. stressful handling, etc. often bring out the seizures.  Hereford has made the most effort to identify carriers.  Since the 1960s and 70s featured very large numbers of Simmental bulls mated to Hereford cows in up breeding programs, IE is possible from pedigrees tracing to either Hereford or “commercial” cows. Because the ASA has an open herdbook, allowing other breeds into our database and percentage pedigrees, IE could be a risk in certain cattle.  We strongly suggest using ASA’s website Animal Search function to access the most up-to-date genetic abnormality status (TraitTrac) for each animal in our database. Reporting abnormal calves:  Call ASA immediately.  ASA will reimburse all expenses. Take photos or video that best display the abnormality.  We will need DNA (hair or tissue) from the calf, dam and sire (we have DNA on all A.I. sires and donor dams).  If the calf is dead, chill the carcass until ASA has been contacted. 

    Useful Links: www.omia.angis.org.au/

    http://www.hereford.org/static/files/0408_Epilepsy.pdf
  • Neuropathic Hydrocephalus (NH)

    Hydrocephalus was first described by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. NH is documented in many mammal species including humans and cattle.  Typically apparent at birth and usually lethal in calves, large, fluid-filled, misshaped heads are the result of this mutation.  Hydrocephalus is mentioned as being observed in Simmental, but no cases are documented in our database.  Recently, the American Angus Association verified the presence of NH in a very popular genetic line. Because the ASA has an open herdbook, allowing other breeds into our database and percentage pedigrees, NH could be a risk in certain cattle.  We strongly suggest using ASA’s website Animal Search function to access the most up-to-date genetic abnormality-status (TraitTrac) for each animal in our database.
    Reporting Abnormal Calves: Call ASA immediately. ASA will reimburse all expenses. Take photos or video that best display the abnormality. We will need DNA (hair or tissue) from the calf, dam and sire. (We have DNA on all A.I. sires and donor dams.) If the calf is dead, chill the carcass until ASA has been contacted.
     
    For Dr. Steffen's notice and description on hydrocephalus, click here .  
    Useful Links:
    www.angus.org
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  • Osteopetrosis (OS) aka marble bone

    Another of the simple recessive abnormalities, the affected calves are either born dead or die within 24 hours.  Often calves are born premature and with an obvious short lower jaw.  Bones are brittle.  OP has been verified in many species including humans.  Recently, some Red Angus pedigrees have been confirmed to carry osteopetrosis. Because the ASA has an open herdbook, allowing other breeds into our database and percentage pedigrees, OP could be a risk in certain cattle.  We strongly suggest using ASA’s website Animal Search function to access the most up-to-date genetic abnormality status (TraitTrac) for each animal in our database. Reporting abnormal calves:  Call ASA immediately.  ASA will reimburse all expenses. Take photos or video that best display the abnormality.  We will need DNA (hair or tissue) from the calf, dam and sire (we have DNA on all A.I. sires and donor dams).  If the calf is dead, chill the carcass until ASA has been contacted. 
    Some useful links:   http://redangus.org/node/215
    http://www.osteopetrosis.org/
  • Oculocutaneous Hypopigmentation (OH)

    In the spring of 2012, the American Simmental Association (ASA) received an abnormality report indicating the occurrence of a newborn calf with "white-colored" eyes and a diluted hair coat (see picture at right). All the appropriate DNA samples were collected, used for the validation of parentage, and archived for future reference. Over the next two years, three additional calves were reported to the ASA with similar characteristics. Based on the recurrence of this trait, an investigation was initiated to establish whether the condition was genetic. DNA samples collected from the four affected calves were genotyped using the Neogen GGP-HD. The resulting genotypes were analyzed in contrast to the genotypes of ~80 Simmental sires. This analysis showed clear evidence that the condition is inherited as a recessive trait. Based on hese results, the DNA sequence for several genes was analyzed in each of the affected calves. Within one of these genes, a mutation was identified that is predicted to impair the function of the encoded protein. In fact, in mice, mutations within the same gene cause a very similar condition that is referred to as "chocolate", where black mice have a diluted coat color and beige-colored irises (or irides). Further investigation, including the genotyping of frequently used sires, indicates the mutation is present at a relatively low frequency in the Simmental population. This is consistent with the very low frequency of affected calves reported over the three year period. Examination of carrier pedigrees reveals the Simmental bull, PVF-BF BF26 BLACK JOKER (ASA #1930631), as the most popular recent ancestor with DNA available for testing. However, several of the genotyped carriers do not have this sire in their pedigrees indicating the mutation could be significantly older. Considering this information and the prior description of similar traits in other breeds, namely heterochromia irides (HI) in Angus cattle, the possible origin of this mutation was investigated by obtaining samples from known HI carriers. Although there are very few DNA samples available from these older animals, a sample was obtained for the Angus sire SIR WMS WARRANT (AAA #9196894). Indeed, WARRANT was found to be a carrier of this newly identified mutation. Therefore, it is most likely that the mutation was introduced into the Simmental population by the use of Angus cattle during the development of black purebreds. The subsequent screening of more than 1,200 Angus sires indicates the mutation has most likely been eliminated from the current Angus population via pedigree selection in the early 1980s. Based on these data, the scientific literature was reviewed in an effort to understand if there were documented features that clearly distinguish between the oculocutaneous hypopigmentation (OH) and heterochromia irides (HI) traits, both of which had been previously described. It is our opinion that the characteristics displayed by these affected Simmental calves is more representative of OH than it is of HI. Additionally, examination of the human and mouse literature also supports this designation. Thus, we suggest that if both phenotypes exist in the cattle population, WARRANT should be designated as an OH carrier. Further screening of current descendants of Angus HI carriers is being conducted but has not identified any additional carriers of this mutation within the Angus population. Information contained in reports and literature from the 70s and 80s, and in these current Simmental cases, indicate that this abnormal phenotype has little or no effect on the viability or performance of affected individuals. However, in some cases, a possible sensitivity to light has been reported. Thus, we suggest this mutation be monitored similarly to other non-lethal traits such as coat color or horned/polled. As with any recessive condition, breeders can avoid the appearance of affected calves by restricting matings between carrier animals.

    Reporting abnormal calves:  Call ASA immediately.  ASA will reimburse all expenses. Take photos or video that best display the abnormality.  We will need DNA (hair or tissue) from the calf, dam and sire (we have DNA on all A.I. sires and donor dams).  If the calf is dead, chill the carcass until ASA has been contacted. 

  • Pulmonary Hypoplasia with Anasarca (PHA)

    A new syndrome reported in Maine, Percentage Chi, and Shorthorn calves over the last few years, PHA is uniformly lethal. The dams also suffer from dystocia related to the large size of the calf. Anasarca refers to the collection of fluid in the skin and body cavities of the calf. In some cases the calves had been reported as "bulldogs" due to the facial appearance caused by this fluid collection. The term should not be applied as this syndrome is distinct from bulldog dwarfism and using the term could be misleading. The fluid markedly increases the size and weight of the fetus causing dystocia at time of delivery.  Small, under developed lungs are apparent in the dead calves. Because the ASA has an open herdbook, allowing other breeds into our database and percentage pedigrees, PHA could be a risk in certain cattle.  We strongly suggest using ASA’s website Animal Search function to access the most up-to-date genetic abnormality-status (TraitTrac) for each animal in our database.

    Reporting Abnormal Calves: Call ASA immediately. ASA will reimburse all expenses. Take photos or video that best display the abnormality. We will need DNA (hair or tissue) from the calf, dam and sire. (We have DNA on all A.I. sires and donor dams.) If the calf is dead, chill the carcass until ASA has been contacted.

    Dr. Beever's Powerpoint Presentation on TH & PHA

    Cowboy Genetics" , Maine-Anjou Voice, May/June 2006, Dr. Lana Kaiser, Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University

    Useful Links:
    http://redangus.org/node/217
     
  • Tibial hemimelia (TH)

    This single autosomal recessive has been documented in cattle (early on in Galloway, more recently, in Shorthorn and percentage Maine and Chi) since the 1950s. TH is characterized by severe and lethal deformities in newborn calves. Affected calves are born with twisted rear legs with fused joints, have large abdominal hernias and/or a skull deformity. Should the calf survive the birthing process, they cannot stand to nurse and must be destroyed. Because the ASA has an open herdbook, allowing other breeds into our database and percentage pedigrees, TH could be a risk in certain cattle.  We strongly suggest using ASA’s website Animal Search function to access the most up-to-date genetic abnormality-status (TraitTrac) for each animal in our database.

    Reporting Abnormal Calves: Call ASA immediately. ASA will reimburse all expenses. Take photos or video that best display the abnormality. We will need DNA (hair or tissue) from the calf, dam and sire. (We have DNA on all A.I. sires and donor dams.) If the calf is dead, chill the carcass until ASA has been contacted.

    "Tibial Hemimelia Threatens SimGenetics" , the Register, Dr. Jerry Lipsey, ASA Executive Vice President

    Tibial Hemimelia, Meningocele, and Abdominal Hernia in Shorthorn Cattle

    Dr. Beever's Powerpoint Presentation on TH & PHA

    TH Information at www.maine-anjou.org

    Useful Links:

    www.redangus.org
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