Three Horses Die from Mystery Illness at Miami Animal Import Center Two states, Tennessee and Georgia, confirm horses have tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). 

Equine Disease Alerts January 2019


posted January 18, 2019


EIA Proves Deadly for Four Tennessee Horses

Rutherford County, Tennessee

January 18, 2019


Tennessee agriculture officials confirm the euthanasia of four horses after they tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). 

A veterinarian initially reported that a Quarter Horse in Rutherford County tested positive for EIA. A staff veterinarian from the Department of Agriculture tested the racing farm’s horses. That’s when they discovered three more horses were positive as well.

A second Coggins test (AGID test) confirmed the initial results, therefore, a veterinarian euthanized all four horses. State officials suspect iatrogenic transmission, which may have occurred through the use of contaminated needles on multiple horses.

Six remaining horses stabled on the horse property tested negative for EIA. The state placed the horse farm under quarantine and the animals will undergo testing again in March.



posted January 17, 2019

Three Horses Die from Mystery Illness at Miami Animal Import Center

Miami Animal Import Center

January 16, 2019


After six quarantined horses fall ill at the Miami Animal Import Center, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states it is temporarily closing.

The move comes after three sick horses died from the mystery illness, “despite receiving immediate medical treatment.” The surviving three horses are reportedly recovering.

Miami Animal Import Center Closes Horse Quarantine Temporarily after Three Horses Die from Mystery Illness
Miami Animal Import Center Closes Horse Quarantine Temporarily after Three Horses Die from Mystery Illness

An investigation into the cause of the illness is underway. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency (APHIS) officials report that salmonella is the suspected culprit. The horses’ symptoms included diarrhea, fever, and lameness.

Salmonellosis in horses is a contagious bacterial infection with various transmission methods including fecal-oral. Also, salmonella is a zoonotic disease so horses can infect people.

APHIS officials are conducting tests, then the samples will go to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories for diagnostic testing.

The facility is taking precautions to stop the spread of the disease within the larger quarantined horse population. The quarantined horses are being monitored closely for signs of illness, APHIS adds. Additionally, those horses will complete the quarantine as scheduled.

The Miami Animal Import Center is closed temporarily to new horses as of Saturday, January 19, 2019.

USDA pet imports are on-going.


Miami Horse Quarantine Reopens after 4 Horse Deaths



EIA Confirmed in Three Georgia Horses

Paulding County, Georgia

January 14, 2019



Georgia agriculture officials confirm three horses tested positive for the deadly Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). The state quarantined the Paulding County facility as well as the exposed horses.

Since there is no cure or vaccine for EIA, a veterinarian euthanized the EIA-positive Quarter Horses.

State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb says that euthanasia is the “most appropriate course of action.” Additionally, he adds without humane euthanasia the horses would struggle due to the terminal illness. “The quality of life for these animals decreases dramatically.”

The Georgia Department of Agriculture’s (GDA) Animal Industry Division states that EIA, also called swamp fever, is most common in the Quarter Horse racing industry.

The blood-borne disease is transmittable through biting flies or shared needles. Disease symptoms can vary widely. They include weight loss, weakness, anemia, and swelling of legs, chest, and abdomen.




New Jersey Colt Dies from Rabies

Cape May County, New Jersey

January 12, 2019



A young horse died after contracting rabies at a New Jersey horseback riding stable, according to state health officials. 

The 20-month-old colt named Bentley resided at Fox Wood Farm located in the Rio Grande section of Middle Township. Bentley showed neurologic symptoms before testing positive for rabies. The horse’s owner reportedly had the horse vaccinated as well as it’s stablemates.

The exposed horses got booster vaccinations and are being observed for 45 days. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health states that any exposed, non-vaccinated animals are quarantined for six months.


Rabies Human Health Advisory

If you or someone you know visited Fox Wood Farm from December 26 to January 5, you are urged to call your doctor before going to a hospital emergency room for the post-exposure rabies vaccination.

Rabies is a zoonotic disease, which means the infection can spread directly or indirectly from animals to humans. Although it isn’t transmitted by petting an exposed animal or through contact with blood, urine or feces, officials say.

The virus is often transmitted by a bite from an infected animal. The virus is shed in the saliva several days before the onset of clinical signs. Once clinical signs appear, the disease is fatal.

Rabies can also enter through an open wound or contact with a mucous membrane like the eyes of an infected animal.

Rabid animals usually exhibit typical signs of central nervous system disturbance with owners first noticing their animal “doesn’t seem right.” As the illness progresses, nervous system impairment becomes more obvious.  Affected animals may or may not show signs of aggression. Horses often develop the “dumb” form of the disease which consists of slight depression, walking in circles, eating non-edible items, “star gazing,” or not acting normal.

Vaccinating horses and pets annually is the most effective strategy to protect your animals against rabies.




EHV Cases in New York and Virginia

Erie County and Schuler County, New York

Hanover County, Virginia

January 11, 2019


Erie County, NY


New York ag officials confirm a Paint mare is positive for Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) in Erie County. The horse initially exhibited ataxia or the loss of full body movement causing falls.

A nasal swab PCR test confirmed the horse is positive for EHV-1. New York Department of Agriculture and Markets quarantined the mare and all exposed horses on the farm where biosecurity measures are in place.

The state reports that no horses left the farm in the two weeks before the onset of the illness. Additionally, no horses have left the horse property since and the mare hasn’t traveled recently.



Schuler County, NY


New York agriculture officials confirm two cases of EHV in Schuler County. 

An aged Quarter Horse mare tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) while a gelding at the same facility tested positive for EHV-1. The mare displayed symptoms that included leaning and hind end ataxia.

The state placed the farm and all horses under quarantine.



Hanover County, Virginia


Virginia’s state veterinarian confirms three horses tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). 

The infected horses live on a pleasure horse farm in Hanover County. A veterinarian euthanized two of the horses because of their neurological deficits. The third horse began showing neurologic signs as well.

The index farm shares a fence line with a neighbor’s farm. The state quarantined both horse properties along with all horses and donkeys.