A veterinarian euthanized six Kansas horses after they tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA).
The Kansas Department of Agriculture quarantined the Finney County equine facility where additional horses remain. Veterinarians will pull the remaining horses’ blood in 60 days to run additional Coggins tests to determine if antibodies are present.
The Department was contacted this month about a horse in the southwestern part of the state infected with EIA. Testing of the exposed horses led to the discovery of five more EIA positive horses.
The disease, also called swamp fever, affects horses, donkeys, and mules. There is no cure or vaccine to prevent EIA.
Biting insects typically transmit EIA which is a blood-borne illness. The use of infected needles can also transmit EIA from horse to horse.
Affected horses can carry the disease without symptoms for years or they may become acutely or chronically infected. EIA attacks the horse’s immune system. Signs of the disease include fever, depression, anemia, and dependent edema.
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.