Texas Animal Health Commission officials recently confirmed equine infectious anemia in one Quarter Horse on a Dallas County premises. This is the first confirmed case of EIA in Texas this year.
The horse was confirmed positive after testing was performed to meet regulatory requirements. The premises has been quarantined and will not be released until TAHC's requirements are met. TAHC staff are working closely with the owner and local veterinarian to monitor potentially exposed horses and implement biosecurity measures.
“Last year, 17 horses tested positive for equine infectious anemia in Texas,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, state veterinarian. “These cases serve a reminder that EIA is present in our state, biosecurity and sanitary practices are invaluable, and required EIA testing for equine event participation and congregation continues to be of the utmost importance.”
EIA is an incurable, infectious viral disease spread through blood-to-blood contact, not through close proximity or direct contact. The virus can be transmitted from an infected equine to an uninfected equine by biting flies, the use of unsterilized or contaminated medical instruments, or through a blood transfusion. The most common clinical sign of acute EIA is fever, which often precedes the development of other signs. In chronic cases, symptoms such as weight loss, weakness, anemia, and swelling of the lower legs, chest and abdomen may occur.
The TAHC would like to remind horse owners that all Texas equine participating in Texas events must have a negative EIA test, performed by a private practitioner, within the past 12 months. Horse owners should keep the EIA test document or "Coggins papers" available when traveling with horses. Contact your private veterinarian for testing. Any additional Texas EIA cases this year will be posted on the Equine Disease Communication Center website at www.equinediseasecc.org/alerts/outbreaks.