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On the possibility that others may be interested, I will give a brief
description of what SCID (Severe Combined Immuno-Deficiency) is in horses. I
will be making several blanket statements that are not 100% accurate, but
are close enough for the sake of this explanation.

All diseases (bacterial and viral) that enter the body are neutralized by
the body's immune system. Part of the immune system are protein called
"antibodies" which are roughly shaped like a "Y". The top part of the Y is
changeable when this protein is being formed and this section matches up
with some section of the bacteria/virus. There are thousands of different
antibodies floating around in the blood. Chances are that there is at least
some antibodies that can latch onto almost any bacteria and most viruses
that may enter the body. In SCID foals, the mechanism that builds the
changeable top of the antibody is not working, so these foals CANNOT fight
disease. They are generally okay for the first few months, while still
receiving passive protection from their dam, but THEY WILL DIE!

A horse that has only one copy of the SCID gene is called a carrier and will
not have the disease. The gene has been identified and is easily checked
for. It is considered very poor breeding practice to breed two carriers, as
they have a 25% chance of producing a SCID foal. If your horse is a carrier,
you can safely breed to a non-carrier, and not have to worry about having a
SCID foal. (I had my stallion tested).

If anyone is interested in more information, e-mail me privately at and I can either direct you to informative
websites, publications, or I can send you the article that I wrote on the

Stephanie McCray
Visions of the Wind
11920 Spruce Canyon Cr.
Golden, CO 80403
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