Fainting goats - just horsing around?

Genetic disorders in animals are wacky.

By David Puner
Published December 13, 2006 8:13PM (EST)

We're not sure this video calling our attention to "fainting goats" really gets to the bottom of what's truly going on here. In the video, the narrator speaks with a breezy tone ("They don't call them fainting goats for nothing"), and the Floridian breeder tells us a bunch of funny-sounding nicknames for these goats afflicted with the muscular disorder myotonia congenita. When stimulated, a fainting goat's muscles contract severely and slowly relax (hmm, that sounds an awful lot like a seizure). Those wacky goats probably don't think it's all that funny when they get surprised by wolves, seize-up, and then get eaten. We also discovered people can be afflicted with myotonia (myotonic muscular dystrophy patients, among others). And surely these people would appreciate the sympathetic narrator when he states the following non sequitur: "While it might seem easy to make fun of the fainting goat, there are scores of breeders who love them just the way they are."

David Puner

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