Thursday, October 23, 2008

Armani caught a case of mumpappoloosa

...or is it pintopox?

Armani has never had white hairs before, except for a small crescent on his forehead and a few sprinkled hairs on his left-fore pastern.

Late this summer, I noticed more white hairs on his body. Then the white grew with his winter coat. Now he has a number of white spots. They are mainly on his forehand and hindquarters. They range in size from a pencil eraser to my pinky nail. Along with the spots, he's grown a sprinkling of white hairs on his flanks.

I took a few photos. Armani's shiny coat mirrors the flash. So it is hard to see the spots in these photos. They are very obvious in person. In the first photo I drew red arrows to a few of the spots.

Pity me! My mother works me so hard I'm getting white hairs!

I also did some online research and discovered this is not unheard of. One possible explanation is "Birdcatcher spots" as they are popularly known. I got the impression it is not certain if these are inheritable or not. These may come and go over a lifetime.

So I will just have to wait and see...

Birdcatcher the horse
"Birdcatcher spots"
Guide to basic equine coat color genetics

PS: Armani apologizes for the condition of his halter, "Mommy caught me chewing on it!" Don't tell him but I've already bought him a shiny new one.


nunya1432 said...

I have a chestnut Belgian cross and she gets these, too. I have had various vets look at them while they were at the barn. They have called them birdcatcher spots, and other names, but basically it had something to do with her immune system being down a bit and these were her allergic reactions to bug bites. I have since put her on mushroom matrix to boost her immune system, and she only has 4 spots left to go away. The real test will be next year when she has plenty of mushroom matrix in her system, and the bugs get going again! But so far, I'm pleased that they are going away!! Her attitude and coat in general have improved while on the mushroom matrix. I tried another alternative treatment on her but she reacted very negatively to it!
Hope this helps...Laura ( and Montana, the most wonderful horse in the universe
PS We are going to our first dressage show in a few weeks and I have been devouring your journal! I haven't shown since 1974 as a teenage hunter rider on a TB/Morgan!

A Bay Horse said...

That's very interesting, Laura. Thanks! I'd never heard of that before, but I'm glad to hear she is doing better now. Some of Armani's spots have faded already and a few more appeared. He seems frisky and happy other than the cosmetic oddness. I'm going to ask his vet at the next opportunity.

Good luck at your show! I hope you two have a lot of fun. :)