Lavender foal syndrome


Good news!   

Your horse is clear of lavender foal syndrome and does not have the mutated gene. 

Your horse cannot pass on the lavender foal syndrome mutation.

There are no breeding or performance implications.

What is lavender foal syndrome?

Lavender foal syndrome (LFS) is a universally fatal genetic disease affecting newborn foals. Affected foals are often a pale color with a pink or lavender tinge. They are born alive but cannot stand or nurse and have neurologic symptoms such as seizures, leg paddling, and arched necks. Since there is no effective treatment available, foals normally pass away within a few days or are humanely euthanized.

Genomic Details

The mutation that causes lavender foal syndrome is a deletion in the MYO5A gene. Part of the gene is deleted from the genome. Therefore, the instructions from the MYO5A gene are abnormal. This small deletion interferes with the function of melanocytes (cells in the skin’s outer layer that produce pigment) and in brain neurons. This results in the distinctive coat color of lavender foal syndrome and the tragic neurological symptoms.

A horse’s genetic result for lavender foal syndrome is one of three possibilities:

  • Not deleted / Not deleted: Does not have the disease. Does not have the mutation.

  • Not deleted / Deleted: Carrier. Does not have the disease. Carries one gene mutation from one parent. This might be passed to the foal.

  • Deleted / Deleted: Affected. Has the genetic disease. The horse has inherited a gene mutation from each parent. One mutation will be passed to their foal.