EQUINE INFECTIOUS ANEMIA


There is no vaccine for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), just a test. EIA, also known as swamp fever or horse malaria, is a contagious and potentially terminal viral disease.1 EIA is generally presented in three forms:

Acute: Within two weeks of exposure, the active virus can multiply and damage vital organs and the immune system. Antibodies are not initially present, making this difficult to diagnose.1,2

Chronic: With more telltale signs, this form can be identified with weight loss, depression, fever, anemia and small hemorrhages in the mucous membranes.1

Inapparent: Over a one-year period, horses can have decreased visibility of this disease and show no clinical signs of infection.1,2

With more than 500 new cases identified each year,2 EIA can only be recognized with appropriate serologic testing (including the Coggins (AGID) or an ELISA) by your veterinarian.1 This test is necessary prior to transporting your horse across state lines and before shows. There is currently no cure or vaccine for EIA, and infected horses can show few or no signs throughout their lives.2 This emphasizes that protection by minimizing insect exposure and transfer of blood between horses (such as reusing needles or not cleaning equipment between horses) is the best prevention, and that good management can lessen the chance of infection.2