Congenital contractural arachnodactyly (‘fawn calf syndrome’) in Angus cattle

Agriculture primefact cover 
Primefact Number: 1015    Edition: First edition    Released/reviewed: May 2010

Congenital contractural arachnodactyly (CA), also known as “fawn calf” syndrome (FCS), is a heritable disease of newborn Angus and Angus-derived cattle caused by an error in the DNA genetic code transmitted from parents to their progeny.

This Primefact covers the following topics:

  • CA or ‘fawn calf syndrome’ – what is it?
  • Diagnosis of CA in the newborn calf
  • Diagnosis of CA in older calves
  • Why is CA important?
  • How does CA spread between herds?
  • What are the risks from FCS for producers?
  • Angus sires known to be CA carriers
  • When should you suspect that you have a CA calf (‘fawn calf’) in your herd?
  • What should you do if you suspect that you have a CA calf (‘fawn calf’) in your herd?
  • Are there any other syndromes that can easily be confused with CA?
  • Why is ‘fawn calf syndrome’ now called congenital contractural arachnodactyly?