Distichiasis is hereditary eye disorder that affects Friesians. It is characterized by eyelashes growing from an abnormal position on the edges of the eyelids. These misplaced lashes can come in contact with the cornea, leading to ocular problems that may impact vision. Signs of distichiasis include squinting, excessive tearing, and corneal ulcers, though some horses may show no signs.
The genetic variant associated with distichiasis was discovered in 2020 by an interdisciplinary team lead by VGL’s Director Dr. Rebecca Bellone. Since 2020, a DNA test has been available to assist owners in intelligent breeding selections to reduce the potential of producing an affected horse and can also identify which horses should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist for signs of disease.
This webinar will cover information about distichiasis, signs and symptoms, treatment options, genetic inheritance of the disorder and testing information.