Confirmed Genetic Abnormality Carriers

Click on the abnormality name to access a list of known genetic carriers.

You can also use the Online Animal Inquiry to access a list of known genetic carriers. Use the “Select if” drop down menus and select the “Animal is a Carrier” of whichever abnormality you are searching for. Click Search. This will populate all the animals that have been confirmed carriers for the abnormality you selected.
You can also search animals that have tested free of an abnormailty. For example, “Animal is Tested Free for MD”.

Please note that if an animal was tested through the American Hereford Association, the testing result will likely not be reflected in the Canadian Hereford Association Animal Inquiry. Please follow the same steps above using the American Hereford Association Animal Inquiry to check the testing status in the USA.

Partial to almost complete lack of hair. Affected calves are often born with very short, fine, kinky hair that may fall out leaving bare spots or areas particularly susceptible to rubbing. The condition may vary in expression as the animal matures and is usually less noticeable in older animals. The haircoat color will sometimes appear “frosted” or “silverish.” Tail switch may be underdeveloped.

Carrier Hereford bulls or females when mated to black cattle can produce offspring with a haircoat that is gray, smokey or chocolate color.

Age of onset or first seizure can be vary, ranging from birth to several months of age. Occurrence and persistence of seizures may be influenced by environmental stressors such as temperature extremes or increased physical activity. Upon initial onset of seizure episodes individuals will typically lie on their side with all limbs extended in a rigid state. Manual flexing of the limbs is possible, but return to the extended position occurs after release. Seizure episodes may last from several minutes to more than an hour.

Maple Syrup Urine Disease (Neuraxial Edema)

Calves are typically born without symptoms but by 2-4 days of age become slow, dull and eventually recumbent. The calves will often throw their heads back, lying on their side unable to rise. These calves may have some swelling of the brain at autopsy, but diagnosis requires laboratory investigation. The calves have a defect in an enzyme that breaks down complex amino acids in the diet and the buildup of these in the body creates the urine odor and brain damage. The disease name comes from the smell of urine observed in human babies (not always noted in calves).

The anatomic features overlap with a variety of other facial defects and can include cleft palate, brachygnathia (short jaw) and camplygnathia (crooked jaw or face). The unique and consistent hallmarks of the condition include unusual bilateral skin tags just behind the corner of the mouth. These tags are attached to an unusual bone formation. There may be additional skin tags near and/or below the ears. A ridge of Meckel’s cartilage, a structure usually present only during embryonic development, is retained in these calves and attaches to the skin tag. This cartilage is encased in bone as it is followed from the skin tag toward the base of the ear. This bone attaches specifically to the zygomatic process of the temporal bone (just above the articulation of the jaw). The calves’ ears are sometimes slightly small and floppy. Muscles of the jaw are underdeveloped, and calves may have an elongate oral opening appearing as an exaggerated smile. The nursing reflex is present, but nursing is not vigorous. Calves with the additional cleft palate, severely shortened or crooked jaws are debilitated in ability to nurse. Calves with the defect are live born but are not able to thrive.

When conducting online searches, you may see animals which have codes listed in curly brackets {} between the animal and registration number. These codes represent either awards the animal has received or genetic abnormalities the animal is known to be tested free of or a carrier of. Currently used codes are listed below.
HYC=Hypotrichosis Carrier
HYF=Hypotrichosis Free (tested and results indicate animal is not a carrier)
DLF=Dilutor Free (tested and results indicate animal is not a carrier)
DLC=Dilutor Carrier
IEF=Idiopathic Epilepsy Free (tested and results indicate animal is not a carrier)
IEC=Idiopathic Epilepsy Carrier
MSUDF=Maple Syrup Urine Disease Free (tested and results indicate animal is not a carrier)
MSUDC=Maple Syrup Urine Disease Carrier
MDF=Mandibulofacial Dysostosis Free (tested and results indicate animal is not a carrier)
MDC=Mandibulofacial Dysostosis Carrier

Subscribe to the Better Your Beef Bulletin, the official eNewsletter of the CHA.