Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Equine Infectious Anemia

Montana Department of Livestock reports that a horse from southwest Montana had a positive Coggins test for Equine Infectious Anemia.  

Just what is EIA?  The NDSU website defines Equine Infectious Anemia as contagious, viral disease that affects all members of the Equine species, including horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules.  Once animals become infected they are life-long carriers of the virus.

Acute, Chronic and Inapparant are the three clinical forms if EIA.  Symptons range from fever, depression, lack or loss of appetite, weight loss, anemia, weakness, stocking up (swelling of the legs), and edema.  Mares that have EIA abort their babies or fail to become pregnant.

EIA is spread through horse flies, deer flies, mosquitoes, and gnats.  The nasty annoying little blood suckers that they are! 

I recently scheduled appointments for 4 of my horses to get their blood drawn for the Coggins test.  No, not because I think they are carrying the disease, but because I will be headed into North Dakota several times this summer with my horses.  North Dakota requies all horses entering the state have a negative Coggins test.  The test is pretty simple and the results are good for a year.

EIA;  just another reason to keep those pesky little blood suckers under control!

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