A pair of racing Quarter Horses in Barnwell County, South Carolina have been euthanized after testing positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA), the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reports.
The two horses were a 3-year-old Quarter Horse filly and a 3-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, and both were used for bush track racing. The two positive horses likely contracted EIA from shared needles, and veterinarians from Clemson Livestock Poultry Health and USDA South Carolina are investigating any other potential cases.
The horses mark the fourth and fifth cases of EIA in South Carolina in 2022. An official quarantine is in place.
Equine infectious anemia is a virus that is a blood-borne disease that can be transmitted through the bites of contaminated deer and horseflies; pregnant mares to their foals in utero or via milk; through breeding, from stallions to mares; through the use of infected blood and blood products; or through contaminated material such as needles.
A horse with EIA may be asymptomatic, have a fever, or die suddenly. Horses chronically infected with EIA may be weak or anemic, lose weight, or exhibit swelling of the legs, abdomen, or chest.
A Coggins test can confirm if a horse is positive for EIA. There is no known cure and infected horses pose a risk to all other horses. EIA-positive horses may be quarantined for life or euthanized.
There is no vaccine for EIA, so prevention relies on quality fly control and sterile equipment for injections and treatments.
Updated alerts will be posted on the Equine Disease Communication Center.
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