New Control Strategies for Equine Infectious Anemia

EIA researchers are now recommending that we test many horses less frequently and focus more effort on finding untested carriers.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

By C.J. Issel, DVM, PhD, Wright-Markey Chair of Equine Infectious Diseases, University of Kentucky


These days the main thing many U.S. horse owners think about the Coggins test is that it’s something they have to have done before taking horses to a show, sale, or another state. Its often overlooked purpose of identifying horses carrying equine infectious anemia (EIA, often called swamp fever) is critical to controlling the disease. Yet EIA researchers are now recommending that we test many horses less frequently and focus more effort on finding untested carriers.

Equine infectious anemia is an often fatal blood-borne disease of horses, donkeys, and mules caused by a lentivirus that’s closely related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Although some infected horses won’t become ill, others will display fever, anemia (low red blood cell count), jaundice, depression, edema (fluid swelling), and chronic weight loss. The virus is transmitted by blood-feeding insects and sharing of blood-contaminated equipment such as needles between infected and healthy horses.

There is no treatment or vaccine for EIA, and infection is life-long. Owners of infected horses in many U.S. states have two unappealing choices: Quarantine the horse at least 200 yards away from all other horses for the rest of his life, or euthanize him. Many opt for the latter

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

Written by:

2 Responses

  1. re: New Control Strategies for Equine Infectious Anemia

    Totally agree with *shakes head and sighs*. In 1972 it would "eradicate" EIA, after 1978 it became a "control" program, now a "refined strategy". We’re still killing horses that have an immunity to further EIA infections a

  2. re: New Control Strategies for Equine Infectious Anemia

    Cogginitis continues to flourish in America as well as elsewhere.  Test and kill…what an equitable solution for a beloved companion.  It makes me consider that perhaps such a system could also be applied to human Typhoid carriers?  As

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Has your veterinarian used SAA testing for your horse(s)?
84 votes · 84 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!