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Cerebellar abiotrophy - CA - Equigerminal

Cerebellar abiotrophy - CA

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DNA test
  • DNA test for the Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA) – Pure and part-bred Arab horses. This test verifies the presence of the recessive CA mutation.


  • 30 to 40 - hair roots - envelope
  • 5 mL - blood - K3 EDTA tube

Turnaround time

  • 2 to 5  working days

Why test?

  • This DNA test determines CA clear, carrier or affected status. Informed choices can be made for breeding selections, and prevent the born of affected foals.
  • CA is sometimes confused with Wobbler’s syndrome, Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) and injury-related problems, such as a concussion, so this DNA test could help on the diagnostic.

Results description

 The DNA test verifies the presence of the recessive CA mutation and presents results as one of the following:

  • N/ Negative for CA. Absence of the allele responsible for CA.
  • N/CA – Carrier - Positive heterozygous for CA. Presence of one copy of the allele responsible for CA.  The horse is a carrier for CA disorder and can pass on a copy of CA allele to 50% of their progeny when bred.
  • CA/ Affected - Positive Homozygous for CA. Presence of two copies of the allele responsible for CA.  The horse is affected by  CA disorder and can pass the CA allele to 100% of their progeny when bred.

Additional information

Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA), is a genetic neurological disease in certain species of animals.

The disorder manifests itself when Purkinje cells, the neurons that affect balance and coordination, are present in the cerebellum of the brain.

This condition known to affect Arabian horses as well as Miniature horses, the Gotland Pony and possibly the Oldenburg.

In most cases, foals appear normal at birth, and symptoms generally become noticeable after four months. There have been reported cases where the condition was observed shortly after birth, while others report symptoms developing after the first year.

Horses affected with CA tend to startle easily and often fall. Common symptoms include head tremor, a lack of balance and other neurological issues.

Affected horses may develop a wide-based stance of the forelegs and difficulty rising from a reclining position. In horses, CA is believed to be linked to an autosomal recessive gene. This means that it is not sex-linked and the allele has to be carried and passed on by both parents in order for an affected animal to be born.

Horses that only carry one copy of the gene may pass it on to their offspring, despite being perfectly healthy themselves and having no symptoms of the disease.

Because the disorder is recessive, the allele for CA may pass through multiple generations before it is expressed.