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
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.
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