On April 13, 2009 the American Angus Association announced the discovery of a second lethal genetic defect (the first being Arthrogryposis Multiplex (AM) or curly calf) traced back to GAR Precision 1680 called Neuropathic Hydrocephalus (NH). Neuropathic hydrocephalus characteristics include calves born short term with an extremely large head (basketball size) and little to no brain and spinal tissue. Neuropathic Hydrocephalus may cause calving difficulties in both heifers and cows.
Like AM, Neuropathic Hydrocephalus is a simple recessive mutation. If the gene mutation is present in both sire and dam there is a 25% chance of the calf being affected by the lethal mutation. If you have GAR Precision 1680 or CA Future Direction 5321 (popular Precision son) influence in your herd you do have some degree of risk. It is essential that you do not breed carrier cows or heifers to carrier bulls.
Currently Phizer Animal Health has a commercial test for both AM and NH. With a DNA sample, both AM and NH status can be identified in any animal. By testing herd sires that are potential carriers for AM and NH you can ensure that no calves will be affected by either defect. If you have questions about your herds risk or about collecting DNA for sampling, please feel free to contact us at any point.
Manzano M048 R101, who is a CA Future Direction 5321 grandson, has been tested free of both AM and NH as has his sire, B3R M048 Cafd 0125. Therefore, all Manzano M048 R101 progeny are AM and NH free. We feel it is our responsibility to keep you, our customers, informed about any genetic defects which could potentially impact your cow herd. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns regarding AM or NH.