Thirteen Texas Horses Succumb to EIA
Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) officials have confirmed that 13 Quarter Horses on three premises in separate counties have been euthanized after testing positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA). One horse resided in Parker County, seven in Crane County, and five in Johnson County.

The affected premises have been quarantined until they’ve met TAHC’s requirements, and TAHC staff are working with owners and local veterinarians to enact biosecurity protocols and monitor 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 from unaffected equids) for the rest of his life.