Herefords: Commercial MD Test Now Available
The American Hereford Association (AHA) is pleased to announce Neogen® has developed a commercial test for Mandibulofacial Dysostosis (MD) and is ready to test all animals recorded in the AHA database. Members must contact AHA Customer Service either by phone or email to request an official MD test. Consequently, you cannot request an MD test on MyHerd.
There are two pricing structures available for this test. If you request a test for MD on a DNA sample already at the lab or request an MD-only test on a new sample, the cost is $20. To test for MD on a new sample in combination with our basic test (genomic profile, parentage and all other AHA abnormalities) the charge is $13 plus the $42 basic test fee, making the MD plus basic combination package $55.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) will no longer test samples for MD now that Neogen has a commercial test available.
The AHA appreciates your cooperation and patience while this commercial test was being developed and we thank UNL for providing testing options in the interim.
The anatomic features overlap with a variety of other facial defects and can include cleft palate,
brachygnathia (short jaw) and camplygnathia (crooked jaw or face). These are variably present in affected calves and are sometimes dramatic. The unique and consistent hallmarks of the condition include unusual bilateral skin tags just behind the corner of the mouth. These tags are attached to an unusual bone formation. There may be additional skin tags near and/or below the ears. A ridge of Meckel’s cartilage, a structure usually present only during embryonic development, is retained in these calves and attaches to the skin tag. This cartilage is encased in bone as it is followed from the skin tag toward the base of the ear. This bone attaches specifically to the zygomatic process of the temporal bone (just above the articulation of the jaw). The calves’ ears are sometimes slightly small and floppy. Muscles of the jaw are underdeveloped, and calves may have an elongate oral opening appearing as an exaggerated smile. The nursing reflex is present, but nursing is not vigorous. Calves with the additional cleft palate, severely shortened or crooked jaws are debilitated in ability to nurse. Calves with the defect are live born but are not able to thrive.
–American Hereford Association
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News