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Texas horse tests positive by EIA

Texas horse tests positive by EIA

Texas horse tests positive by EIA

A quarter horse in Starr County, Texas, recently tested positive for EIA and was euthanized.
A quarter horse in Starr County, Texas, recently tested positive for EIA and was euthanized. | AdobeStock

A quarter horse in Starr County, Texas, recently tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA). The horse was euthanized and the Texas Animal Health Commission placed the facility under official quarantine.

EDCC Health Watch is an equine network marketing program that uses information from the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) to create and disseminate verified reports of equine diseases. He EDCC is an independent nonprofit organization supported by industry donations to provide open access to information on infectious diseases.

About the EIA

Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease that attacks the immune system of horses. The virus is transmitted through the exchange of body fluids from an infected animal to an uninfected one, often by blood-feeding insects such as horseflies. It can also be transmitted through the use of instruments or needles contaminated with blood.

A Coggins test analyzes horses’ blood for antibodies that are indicative of the presence of the EIA virus. Most US states require horses to have proof of a negative Coggins test to cross state lines.

Once an animal is infected with EIA, it is infected for life and can be a reservoir for the spread of the disease. Not all horses show signs of illness, but those that do may have:

  • Progressive loss of body condition;
  • Muscular weakness;
  • Low resistance;
  • Fever;
  • Depression; and
  • Anemia.

EIA has no vaccine or cure. A horse diagnosed with the disease dies, is euthanized, or must be placed under extremely strict quarantine conditions (at least 200 meters away from unaffected equids) for the rest of its life.