The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reported June 13 that five horses from three Texas counties have tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA).
Affected horses include:
- Two Wilson County Quarter Horses;
- Two Kaufman County Quarter Horses; and
- One Dallas County Quarter Horse.
“The Wilson and Dallas county horses have been euthanized, all exposed horses are being tested, and all premises will remain under quarantine until requirements for release have been met,” the EDCC said. “The Kaufman County horses are currently being maintained on the quarantined premises and the premises will remain under quarantine until requirements for release have been met.”
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 a noninfected animal, often by blood-feeding insects such as horseflies, and more rarely through the use of blood-contaminated instruments or needles.
A Coggins test screens horses’ blood for antibodies that are indicative of the presence of EIA, and most U.S. states require horses to have proof of a negative Coggins test in order to travel.
Once an animal is infected with EIA, it is infected for life and can be a reservoir for the spread of disease. Obvious clinical signs of the disease include progressive loss of condition along with muscle weakness and poor stamina. An affected horse also could show fever, depression, and anemia.