EIA Confirmed in Quebec Horse

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.

Photo: Erica Larson, News Editor

Equestrian Canada (EC) has reported that a horse in the Lanaudière region of Quebec tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA) on Jan. 18.

“As a result of the positive horse, two stables in the Lanaudière area have been quarantined since Jan. 13, 2017,” the EC statement said. “The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is in charge of all control measures and is completing an epidemiological investigation and a trace-back to all horses that have come into contact with the positive case and who may be at risk.”

Quebec has not had a positive case of EIA since 2011, EC reported.

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 U.S. 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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