EVA: Stallion in England Tests Positive

A stallion has tested positive for the venereal disease Equine viral arteritis (EVA) in Staffordshire, England, reports HorseandHound. Breeding restrictions have been placed on the stallion.

Not much else is known, but the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs in the England said in a statement: "An investigation is underway to establish the likely origin of the infection, as well as any mares that may have been affected."

EVA is a highly contagious viral infection that causes a high rate of abortion among pregnant mares. Peter J. Timoney, MVB, PhD, FRCVS, former director of the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center, a leading world authority on EVA, elaborates on the potential contagiousness of EVA, noting, "In the acutely infected horse, irrespective of whether it is a gelding, mare, or stallion, the virus can be spread from the respiratory tract for one to 2.5 weeks. In urine, it may be shed in lesser concentrations for up to three weeks. During the acute phase of infection, virus is also shed into the conjunctival sac (in the eye) and the alimentary (GI) tract, and virus is found in feces for a short period following the onset of infection."

The disease causes damage to a horse's arteries and is transmitted through the respiratory tract--coughing and snorting--or venereally via semen from an infected stallion. EVA has a wide range of clinical signs (including fever, conjunctivitis, and swelling of the lower legs) but is most dangerous to in-foal mares. There is no treatment yet available for the disease.

More information on EVA from TheHorse.com:

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