eia in texas horses

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has confirmed additional cases of equine infectious anemia (EIA) in horses residing in two counties in that state, the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reported July 8.

In Kaufman County, TAHC officials confirmed EIA in 16 Quarter Horses on one premises.

In Montague County, officials confirmed EIA in one Quarter Horse.

In both cases, the EDCC said, “the premises (remain) under quarantine until requirements for release have been met. TAHC staff is working closely with owners and veterinarians to monitor potentially exposed horses and implement biosecurity measures.”

EIA 101

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 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 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. Not all horses show signs of disease, but those that do can exhibit:

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

There is no vaccine and no cure. A horse diagnosed with EIA 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.

eia in texas horses
eia in texas horses