Prevalence of coat colour traits and congenital disorders of South American camelids in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Jost, Stéphanie Mali; Knoll, Andrea; Lühken, Gesine; Drögemüller, Cord; Zanolari, Patrik (2020). Prevalence of coat colour traits and congenital disorders of South American camelids in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 62(1), p. 56. BioMed Central Ltd. 10.1186/s13028-020-00554-y

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BACKGROUND

The increasing popularity of alpacas and llamas outside of South America is undeniable. The associated limited genetic diversity raises questions about health and other genetically determined traits like coat colour. Therefore, a survey studying the prevalence of congenital disorders and coat colours and patterns in South American camelids was performed in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Moreover, the motivation for keeping these animals, the herd size and breeds was assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 146 questionnaires were returned corresponding to 16 farms from Austria, 69 farms from Germany, and 61 farms from Switzerland. In total, the returned surveys reported data on 2770 animals including ~ 85% alpacas and ~ 15% llamas. The most common alpaca breed was Huacaya (87.7%), the most common llama breed was Wooly (15.6%). Breeding (69.4%), wool production (63.3%) and keeping them as pets (53.7%) were the most common motivations to keep these animals, although this varied among countries. The three coat colour groups, solid white (24.8%), brown and black (64.8%) and grey (10.4%), occurred at different frequencies. About 7% of the South American camelids with solid white coat showed blue-pigmented eyes, corresponding to the known blue-eyed white phenotype, of which more than every second animal was apparently deaf. Uniform solid coloured animals occurred predominantly (81.4%), whereas pinto (8.8%), speckled (6.4%) and spotted (3.4%), also known as appaloosa, were comparably less prevalent. In total 161 observations of congenital disorders occurring during a 5-year-period were reported. The most prevalent disorders were in the group of musculoskeletal disorders such as spiral toe growth (16.4%), hyperextension of the fetlock joint (12.3%), angular limb deformities (11.0%) and axial rotation of the limbs (8.2%).

CONCLUSIONS

This survey revealed first insights into the occurrence of different traits and disorders in the current South American camelid population of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The identification of the most common musculoskeletal disorders might encourage the breeders to eliminate affected animals from their breeding program to decrease the incidence although traits such as spiral toe growth might also represent phenocopies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Genetics
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Jost, Stéphanie Mali; Drögemüller, Cord and Zanolari, Patrik

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

1751-0147

Publisher:

BioMed Central Ltd.

Language:

English

Submitter:

Nathalie Viviane Zollinger

Date Deposited:

24 Sep 2020 10:30

Last Modified:

27 Sep 2020 02:52

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/s13028-020-00554-y

PubMed ID:

32948208

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Alpaca Coat colour Coat pattern Congenital disorder Fleece Llama Survey

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.146699

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146699

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