Fell ponies are not the only breed to be affected with an immunodeficiency / anaemia syndrome.
Now a similar condition has been reported in a Dales pony
The report’s authors, based at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket and the Liverpool Vet School, describe a female Dales pony foal with marked anaemia, diarrhoea and pneumonia, that failed to respond to treatment. The foal was euthanased at nearly 6 weeks of age. Post mortem signs were typical of Fell pony syndrome.
The scientists, who are already studying Fell pony syndrome, are now widening their scope to pay close attention to the Dales pony as well.
They suggest that, although there are other causes of anaemia in foals, the anaemia/immunodeficiency syndrome should be considered in any young foal with marked anaemia (PCV < 20%) and relevant clinical signs.
They urge owners, breeders and veterinarians dealing with Dales ponies to be aware of the disease, and ask that any suspect cases be referred to the research team at the Animal Health Trust or the Liverpool University Veterinary School.