Biting insects typically transmit EIA, also known as swamp fever, which is a blood-borne illness. Biting insects typically transmit EIA, also known as swamp fever, which is a blood-borne illness.

Equine Disease Alerts: July

Horse Health

After years of providing in-depth coverage of equine disease alerts when they happen, we’re trying something new. It’s our goal to provide you with details you won’t find elsewhere about each case, although you’ll find the information in a central location by month.

Your feedback is welcome and encouraged during this time.


EIA Positive Leads to Western Canada Quarantine

Great Bend, Saskatchewan, Canada

July 20, 2018


A veterinarian sampled blood from a Saskatchewan horse confirming a positive case of equine infectious anemia (EIA).

Canadian officials report that the Great Bend horse traveled frequently throughout the province competing. The veterinarian didn’t note any clinical signs of the highly contagious disease.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is investigating. Additionally, it quarantined the premises and any on-premises contact animals. It remains in effect until the disease response activities are completed, which includes the euthanasia of positive horses, and any trace-out activities to additional locations.

Biting insects typically transmit EIA which is a blood-borne illness. The use of infected needles can also transmit EIA from horse to horse.

To help prevent the disease, veterinarians recommend insect control, good sanitation, testing new horses with a Coggins test before bringing them onto your property, and quarantining new horses for 45 days.

EIA is also called swamp fever. There is no cure or vaccine.



EIA Deadly for 2 More Texas Horses

Dallas and McLennan Counties, Texas

July 13, 2018


Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) proves deadly for two more Texas horses bringing the count to 9 since March.

Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) officials confirm veterinarians euthanized a Standardbred in Dallas County and a Quarter Horse in McLennan County. Now, both premises are quarantined as the state helps monitor the premises’ horses and implement biosecurity.

Since March, the state’s animal health commission reports 10 other horses have been confirmed positive with EIA, including:

  • 1 Quarter Horse in Maverick County – (quarantined)
  • 1 Quarter Horse in Bexar County (euthanized)
  • 3 Horses in Bastrop County (euthanized)
  • 2 Quarter Horses in Wilson County (euthanized)
  • 2 Quarter Horses in Kaufman County – (quarantined)
  • 1 Quarter Horse in Dallas County (euthanized)


The often fatal disease affects horses, donkeys, and mules. No other animals or humans can contract the virus.

Symptoms include fever, depression, weight loss, swelling, and anemia.

A Coggins test is utilized to determine the presence of EIA. Under Texas law, any horse over 8 months old traveling to an event, being sold or entering the state must have a negative Coggins within the last 12 months.




Maryland Horse Euthanized: Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) 

Montgomery County, Maryland
July 10, 2018

Maryland agriculture officials confirm a horse stabled in Montgomery County tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA).

A veterinarian’s routine wellness exam that included a blood draw for a Coggins test confirmed the diagnosis by the National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa. The veterinarian euthanized the EIA infected horse.

There is no cure or vaccine to prevent EIA.

Although the infected horse did not display any clinical symptoms it was a carrier of the disease.

The state veterinarian placed the farm on a 60-day investigational hold order. Veterinarians are testing the remaining 42 stablemates of the index horse now and again in 60-days.

To help prevent the disease, veterinarians recommend insect control, good horse facility sanitation, testing new equines with a Coggins test before bringing them onto your property, and quarantining new equines for 45 days.

There are no treatment options for infected horses so the United States Department of Agriculture requires euthanasia or strict lifelong quarantine for horses testing positive for EIA. Studies show that a 200-yard separation between an isolated positive EIA and other horses prevents transmission of the disease.


Nebraska Horse Euthanized: EHV-1

Buffalo County, Nebraska
July 9, 2018
Nebraska’s State Veterinary office reports a neurologic horse located in Buffalo County tested positive for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) leading to its euthanasia.

EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses. Dennis Hughes State Veterinarian reminds horse owners to always use biosecurity practices.

Additionally, the facility voluntarily quarantined itself and put biosecurity measures in place.

Oklahoma Horse Rescue and $10K Fine

Kay County, Oklahoma
July 5, 2018

An Oklahoma horse rescue may feel the financial sting after bringing a horse into the state without a Coggins.

Michael Herrin, Assistant State Veterinarian at Oklahoma Department of Agriculture tells us, the penalty under the state statute for doing so, “ranges from $100 to $10,000 per day, per animal.”
Furthermore, the agency states the horse tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA) and was traveling without a Health Certificate.
Due to the positive blood pull, a veterinarian euthanized the 16-year-old Quarter Horse mare that originated from Alabama. Oklahoma agriculture officials tell us they don’t know the name of the “horse sale barn” or if the horse came from a kill pen. It is also unclear if a professional horse transporter or individual hauled the horse into the state.
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture quarantined the horse rescue. When asked, the state said it cannot divulge the rescue’s name due to state law. There are a couple of exceptions including if the state veterinarian deems it is necessary to protect the well-being of the public or domestic animals or by a court order.
This is the first case of EIA in Oklahoma in 2018.

Canada: Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) Case

Ponoka County, Alberta, Canada
July 4, 2018
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) national lab confirms an Alberta horse tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA).
A veterinarian pulled blood from the horse located in Ponoka County to comply with the United State’s import requirements. The horse was asymptomatic.
The agency’s investigation includes a quarantine of the premises, follow-up testing, and the euthanization of all positive horses. CFIA’s actions may include additional premises due to trace-out procedures.