Oklahoma Reports Second EIA-Positive Horse

Oklahoma Reports Second EIA-Positive Horse

A Coggins test screens horses' blood for antibodies that are indicative of the presence of EIA.

Photo: Erica Larson, News Editor

The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) has reported a second confirmed case of equine infections anemia (EIA) in Oklahoma.

“The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture (ODAFF) has confirmed a second EIA-positive horse for 2016,” the EDCC’s Sept. 3 statement read. “The 13-year old Quarter Horse gelding located in McCurtain County was euthanized. Past EIA test history for this horse is unknown.

The EDCC said the ODAFF recommends regular EIA testing for all horses, including those that do not leave the property, at least every 3 years.

The EDCC reported Oklahoma’s first EIA case for 2016—in a 14-year-old Quarter Horse mare from Atoka County—on Sept. 1. 

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 noninfected animal, often by blood-feeding insects such as horseflies, and more rarely through the use of blood-contaminated instruments or needles.

A Coggins test screens horses' blood for antibodies that are indicative of the presence of EIA, and most 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. Obvious clinical signs of the disease include progressive loss of condition along with muscle weakness and poor stamina. An affected horse also could show fever, depression, and anemia.

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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