Case of equine infectious anemia confirmed in Wyoming

Cross section of the equine infectious anemia virus.
Cross section of the equine infectious anemia virus. Photo: APHIS

A horse has been euthanized in Wyoming after being diagnosed with equine infectious anemia (EIA).

The case was found  in Johnson County, according to the Wyoming Livestock Board.

All horses on the premises and adjacent premises, within 200 yards, have been quarantined pending further testing.

EIA is a contagious, viral disease most commonly transmitted through horse flies, deer flies, mosquitoes and gnats, or sometimes through the shared used of blood-contaminated instruments or needles.

Cases can be acute, chronic or not apparent at all. The virus attacks the immune system, with symtpoms including bleeding in mucus membranes and a gradual loss of condition and muscle weakness. Other signs include fever, depression and anaemia.

Infected horses continue to carry the virus and can be the source of further infections, hence the protocol to euthanize infected animals.

The board said the disease was found in the horse when testing was conducted as required for the interstate movement of horses.

All quarantined animals have so far returned negative Coggins tests once for the disease and will undergo a second test in 60 days, it said.

State veterinarian Dr Jim Logan reminded veterinarians and horse owners that it was required for EIA test charts to be completed with all requested information, including pictures and descriptions of horse markings, each horse’s name, age, breed, sex, and color, and complete owner and veterinarian information before the testing laboratory can legally test samples.

Disease prevention efforts include insect control, good sanitation, testing of new horses brought to the premises, using only new and clean needles and syringes on each horse, and following state and federal regulations on the disease.

More information on EIA here.

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