EIA Discovered in Johnson County, Wyoming

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A case of equine infectious anemia (EIA) was found in one horse located in Johnson County in late June, according to a release from the Wyoming Livestock Board.

The disease was found when testing was conducted as required for interstate horse movement. The affected horse was euthanized and all horses on the associated premises and adjacent premises located within 200 yards have been quarantined pending further testing. All quarantined animals have tested negative once for the disease and will undergo a second test in 60 days.

Equine infectious anemia is an incurable infectious disease of horses spread by biting flies, such as the horse fly and deer fly. The disease can cause fever, anemia, fluid accumulation on the chest or legs, and emaciation in some animals. The virus can also cross the placental barrier to cause fetal infection. Many horses do not show any clinical signs of disease or have very mild signs on first exposure and carry the virus subclinically.

The most common blood test to detect the disease is the Coggins test.

All infected horses, including those that are asymptomatic, are potential carriers and are considered infectious for life. Infected animals must either be euthanized or remain permanently isolated from other equids to prevent transmission. There is currently no vaccine to protect horses against EIA.

Disease prevention efforts include insect control, good sanitation, testing of new horses brought to the premises, using only new and clean needles and syringes on each horse, and following state and federal regulations on the disease. In Wyoming the disease must be reported to the state veterinarian and is regulated by both the Wyoming Livestock Board and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

State Veterinarian Jim Logan, DVM, reminds veterinarians and horse owners that EIA test charts must be completed with all requested information including pictures and descriptions of horse markings, horse’s name, age, breed, sex, and color, and complete owner and veterinarian information before the testing laboratory can legally test samples.

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