Kissing Spines - is there any current research?

JanetGeorge

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 June 2001
Messages
7,001
Location
Shropshire/Worcs. borders
I've become far more familiar with Kissing Spines than I have ever wanted to be! 3 full siblings - from the same 3/4 TB mare have developed it - between 5 and 8. That says to me - possibly conformation caused - but more likely hereditary.

Is there any current research going on??
 

GirlFriday

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 November 2008
Messages
1,268
If full siblings though reasonably likely the management had also been similar so environmental factors might also be in common between the horses. (Not saying you are wrong, just that more evidence is needed)
 

Frumpoon

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 May 2011
Messages
1,929
Contact matt smith at Newmarket, to my knowledge he does more ks surgery than any other surgeon right now

Personally with. 2 horses that have ks I think it's more nature than nurture
 

Abacus

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 February 2011
Messages
1,177
I have known a few times vets to say that you can breed from a mare with ks as it is not genetic. Always seemed wrong to me - firstly surely it's only likely to cause her more pain. But secondly because it's almost impossible to distinguish the effects of genetics and conformation, as related horses are likely to have similar conformation.

I wouldn't be breeding from that mare again, I don't think...
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
38,178
So is the mare affected?
Even if she is not, the mare may be carrying a recessive gene also carried by the stallion, or the genes may have an epigenetic switch in the offspring which has not been triggered in the mare.

I'm trying, unsuccessfully, to tactfully suggest to a friend that breeding from a mare with kissing spines, sore SI and hind fetlock bony changes isn't a good idea :(
 

JanetGeorge

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 June 2001
Messages
7,001
Location
Shropshire/Worcs. borders
If full siblings though reasonably likely the management had also been similar so environmental factors might also be in common between the horses. (Not saying you are wrong, just that more evidence is needed)

But if environmental factors - or management - are in any way to blame, I'd have expected a few more to develop it. Between 10 and 16 foals a year - a lot by the same stallion but out of unrelated mares - and ONLY the full siblings? Unless there's a DNA test available, I don't think I can get MORE evidence - although have contacted South Wales Mounted Branch to check on the one full sibling (the oldest) I've lost contact with - awaiting a reply.

The dam of the affected foals hunted until 10 as huntsman's horse - I brought her home after the 3rd time she tied up on a Monday! That was a management fault, I think! Absolutely no sign of back pain in her in 8 years of foaling - her first was born in 2006 - and the only lamenesses she's had were due to foot abcesses (she's typical TB feet!)

"epigenetic switch " is a new one on me - hell - my knowledge of genetics is pretty basic. Breed the best you have to the best you can find and hope for the best has run my breeding - then of course there was: is it going to be grey? And along the way I've learned about Tetrarch spots (the RID stallion I've used a lot DOES go back to The Tetrarch, and now it's Rabicano too.

I'm contacting everyone who might know something - so will try Matt Smith too!
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
38,178
Epigenetics is a fairly new area of research. I've just been reading about it. It explains, among other things, why we don't grow teeth in our eyes, why twins aren't absolutely identical, why clone horses are different colors from their mothers, even though every cell has the same DNA.

Things in the development of the foetus and in later life can turn some of the switches on and off. For example, twin humans can both carry the genes for schizophrenia, but only one gets the conditions that turns the genes on and causes the disease. This is why only half of pairs of identical twins where one has genetically caused schizophrenia, the other also has it.

Sorry for the lecture, it fascinates me! No research in kissing spines, of course, but if the mare doesn't have it, it doesn't mean that she doesn't carry it. I certainly wouldn't breed from her again myself.
 

JanetGeorge

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 June 2001
Messages
7,001
Location
Shropshire/Worcs. borders
I half suspected EPSM from one of the full siblings because of how spooky he was about his girth area being touched - so we treated him fo that too - no real difference seen. I am as sure as I can be that the tying up in the mare was down to bad stable management at the kennels - she was stuffed on the night after hunting, and the nex day - when not worked - then Monday it happened. None of her offspring ever showed a sign (they don't get POUNDS of oats - or any!) 98% of their feed is haylage!
 

zaminda

Well-Known Member
Joined
26 August 2008
Messages
2,298
Location
Somerset
The horse I knew with very bad kissing spine had shown no signs of pain until having to school during the foot and mouth outbreak. She is of the put up and shut up variety, so maybe hunting in straight lines wouldn't have shown it either. She also bred a foal before her current ownership, it would be interesting to see if that had it.
I do think it is something more research is needed into, as many people think it is fine to breed from a horse with KS, and I am really not sure!
 

happybear

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 February 2013
Messages
69
Location
West Midlands
I’m fascinated by kissing spines, after having experienced it in my last horse. I’d love to research it!

We were referred to Matt Smith at Newmarket, too. I'm interested to see his opinions if you do talk to him; he's definitely an expert in the condition. He didn’t crack our case, as it turned out not to be the KS causing the pain and I didn’t see any positive results following the treatment he recommended for him. With hindsight I’m not entirely happy with the way he came to his diagnosis, but he does know his stuff about KS.
 

GirlFriday

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 November 2008
Messages
1,268
But if environmental factors - or management - are in any way to blame, I'd have expected a few more to develop it. Between 10 and 16 foals a year - a lot by the same stallion but out of unrelated mares - and ONLY the full siblings? Unless there's a DNA test available, I don't think I can get MORE evidence - although have contacted South Wales Mounted Branch to check on the one full sibling (the oldest) I've lost contact with - awaiting a reply.
Oh, now that is interesting. I hadn't realised you'd bred these and would have half siblings as well to compare (I had the vague idea you bred CBs rather than anything TB ish).

Wonder if a vet PhD student would be interested...
 

JanetGeorge

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 June 2001
Messages
7,001
Location
Shropshire/Worcs. borders
Oh, now that is interesting. I hadn't realised you'd bred these and would have half siblings as well to compare (I had the vague idea you bred CBs rather than anything TB ish).

Wonder if a vet PhD student would be interested...
I MAINLY breed pure-bred Irish Draughts. The few sport horse mares were 'left-over' hunters that I thought were nice enough to breed back to my gorgeous Irish Draught stallion.
 
Top