The Friesian is generally a robust breed and should present few health related problems for owners and breeders who are competent in the management and husbandry of horses. There are however a few things that owners and breeders should be aware of and take steps to address in their breeding programs.

  • Dwarfism - there have been recorded cases of dwarfism in the breed, both overseas and in Australia. The AWFA (Australian Warmblood Friesian Assoc) has given permission for an article on this subject to be included on this site. Follow the link under Health Issues at the left of this page to view the article.

  • Cryptorchidism - there has also been a case of a cryptorchid stallion being imported into Australia and siring a number of foals prior to being gelded. The Equine Reproduction.com site has approved the inclusion of an article on Cryptorchidism to appear on this site, viewable through the link under Health Issues at the left of this page.

  • OCD - (osteochondritis dissecans) is a disease subset of osteochondrosis, and is one of the developmental orthopaedic diseases effecting a number of species including horses and dogs. The condition affects the joint cartilage and often involves the subchondral bone just beneath the cartilage surface. Hock and stifle joints are the most commonly effected though shoulder joints have been known to be effected to a lesser degree. OCD has been known to effect Friesians (as it does a number of breeds) and it is thought that correct nutrition along with appropriate management of young horses plays a major part in reducing incidences of this disease. It is generally agreed that foals which grow too quickly ; are over weight ; over exercised ; under exercised ; fed a poorly balanced diet or genetically predisposed may be at greater risk of acquiring this disease. X-rays of suspect animals at a young age can detect the disease in it's early stages. Articles on OCD will be added in the near future. You can also visit the Equine-Reproduction.com site to learn more about OCD and other equine health issues by clicking on their logo on our Links page.

  • Other health related topics will be added over time. If you have a subject you would like to appear on this page feel free to email us.


Copyright 2004-2013. FRIESIANHORSES.COM.AU. All rights reserved.