The Equine Disease Communication Center recently reported that a confirmed case of equine infectious anemia occurred in Illinois at the tail-end of 2016.
Equine infectious anemia virus expression is a common fear for horse owners; at best, the horse must be quarantined for life. In the worst cases, the disease will prove fatal.
The horse in question was given an equine infectious anemia virus antibody test back in November. The horse was removed from the premises prior to the return of positive results.
“The premises was quarantined,” said the report from the EDCC. “Additional testing of equine on the premises disclosed one additional positive animal. That animal has been euthanized. The remaining animals were negative for EIA.”
Since the spread of EIAV can happen quickly, it’s fortunate that no other animals tested positive. It doesn’t take a lot to infect a horse, either. Just one-fifth of a teaspoon of EIAV-infected blood contains enough of the virus to infect 10,000 horses.
Once a horse is infected, the prognosis is often grim. Fever, depression, anemia, and general weakness are among the disease’s tamer symptoms. In more serious cases, infected horses may experience hemorrhages, irregular heartbeat, abortion of a fetus, and even death.
That’s why it’s so important to obtain regular equine infectious anemia virus antibody tests. These critical veterinary diagnostics tools allow horse owners to get a definitive answer regarding equine infectious anemia virus expression and act quickly when there is a positive result. It can also provide peace of mind for owners who regularly bring their horses to shows or places where their animals come into contact with others.
Overall, the only protection against EIAV is total prevention. There is currently no vaccine or treatment that we know of to combat EIAV, and it’s incurable. Therefore, you need to manage your horses with great care. Be sure to use disposable needles for each horse when administering medication and vaccines. Test your horses at least once each year (or more, if they travel frequently) and at the time of purchase. And ensure that your stables are clean, dry, and free of waste. Since manure and stagnant water are the perfect breeding ground for horseflies, you want to avoid these at all costs.
To find out more about equine infectious anemia virus expression and the testing options we can provide, get in touch with us today.