Appaloosa horses in the US are being sought to take part in a clinical trial of Equine Recurrent Uveitis (ERU), the leading cause of blindness in horses.
The trial is being conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), School of Veterinary Medicine.
Equine recurrent uveitis causes recurrent inflammation along the uveal tract in the eye, leading to blindness.
Appaloosa horses, known best for their white coat spotting patterns (termed leopard complex or LP), are eight times more likely than any other breed to develop this disease and four times more likely to go blind, suggesting genetics plays a major contributing role.
The objective of the study, being led by Dr Rebecca Bellone and Dr Mary Lassaline, is to determine the genetic factors contributing to ERU in Appaloosa horses.
Horses taking part in the study must have known pedigrees and be able to be transported to UC Davis for an initial assessment and examination by a veterinary ophthalmologist.
More information: www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/clinicaltrials/