Four Saskatchewan Premises Identified With EIA
Canadian Animal Health and Surveillance System (CAHSS) officials have identified four Sasketchewan premises with equine infectious anemia (EIA). In the rural municipality of Kinistino at premises A, which was previously confirmed with the disease, 11 additional cases were confirmed in January.

In February, four cases were confirmed at a separate premises (B) in the rural municipality of Kinistino. These cases were epidemiologically linked to premises A. Additionally, eight cases were confirmed in the rural municipality of Kinistino that were epidemiologically linked to premises A and B. This premises was identified as premises C.

In March, one case was confirmed in the rural municipality of Duck Lake at a fourth premesis. This case was epidemiologically linked to A, B, and C.

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.