Severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID)

Veterinary advice should be sought before applying any treatment or vaccine.

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID)

Severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID) is an inherited autosomal recessive disease (meaning that one copy of the defective gene is inherited from a carrier stallion and another from a carrier mare) affecting Arabian foals. Affected foals are unable to produce antibodies that would normally help them to fight infections. SCID foals rarely survive past 5 months of age before they develop an infection and die.

Timeline
SCID was first reported in horses in 1973. In 1980, SCID was discovered to be an inherited autosomal recessive disease in Arabian horses.

Symptoms

Nasal discharge
Coughing
Increased respiratory sounds
Fever
Colic
Weight Loss
Intermittent diarrhea
Pneumonia

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Blood test

Treatment

Supportive care: May prolong the course of the disease, but affected foals eventually will die, usually within five months of birth.

Prognosis

Grave even with intensive treatment and most foals die within five months of birth.

Scientific Research

General Overviews

Age Range

Occurs in foals less than 5 months of age

Commonly Affected Breeds

Arabian icon