Hoof Wall Separation Disease (HWSD)

HWSD is a genetic hoof condition found in Connemara ponies. It is a homozygous recessive condition; this means the mutated gene has to be inherited from both parents for the disease to be present. There is now a genetic test to determine whether ponies are ‘carriers’ of the mutated gene. By avoiding the mating of two carriers, foals will not be born with the condition.

For information on HWSD http://connemara-pony.blogspot.com

On how to test your ponies http://connemara-pony.blogspot.com/p...d-testing.html

For a list of test results http://connemara-pony.blogspot.com/p...ed-ponies.html

If you have a Connemara pony (or a partbred Connemara) which shows with hoof wall issues that do not respond to dietary supplements or hoof treatments for White Line Disease/fungal conditions, then HWSD may just be the problem. By testing such ponies you will get a definitve answer.

It would be a really positive step if breeders were to have their breeding stock tested before the start of the up-coming breeding season.

This condition has been around for many years, but unacknowledged by people ‘in authority’ who wanted to keep it ‘secret squirrel’, as they felt that it would reflect badly upon the breed. All breeds have genetic issues of one kind or another. At least there is now the test for HWSD the results of which can stop the production of affected ponies while permitting the continued use of carrier ponies for breeding.
It is very important that carrier ponies are given the opportunity to breed on thereby preventing the further loss of genetic diversity. It is because of this loss of genetic diversity that the problem has arisen in the first place.