Four Texas Horses Euthanized After EIA Diagnoses

The four horses resided on three different premises in three counties. All affected premises are under quarantine until TAHC requirements are met.

Four Texas Horses Euthanized After EIA Diagnoses
A Coggins test screens horses’ blood for antibodies that are indicative of the presence of the EIA virus. | Photo: Alexandra Beckstett/The Horse
Officials at the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) have confirmed four Quarter Horses with equine infectious anemia (EIA): one in Harris County, one in Travis County, and two additional horses at a Johnson County premises that had seven positive cases in April and May this year. The four new cases were all euthanized.

All three premises will remain under quarantine until they meet TAHC requirements. TAHC staff is working with the owners and local veterinarians to implement biosecurity protocols and monitor all potentially exposed horses.


About EIA

Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease that attacks horses’ immune systems. The virus is transmitted through the exchange of body fluids from an infected to an uninfected animal, often by blood-feeding insects such as horseflies. It can also be transmitted through the use of blood-contaminated instruments or needles.

Coggins test screens horses’ blood for antibodies that are indicative of the presence of the EIA virus. Most U.S. states require horses to have proof of a negative Coggins test to travel across state lines.

Once an animal is infected with EIA, it is infected for life and can be a reservoir for the spread of disease. Not all horses show signs of disease, but those that do can exhibit:

  • Progressive condition loss;
  • Muscle weakness;
  • Poor stamina;
  • Fever;
  • Depression; and
  • Anemia.

EIA has no vaccine and no cure. A horse diagnosed with the disease dies, is euthanized, or must be placed under extremely strict quarantine conditions (at least 200 yards away from unaffected equids) for the rest of his life.


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