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EIA-positive horse identified in Colorado

Staff Writer |
On May 4, 2017, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian’s Office, was notified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) that a Weld County horse tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA).

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The Weld County facility is currently under a quarantine order that restricts movement of horses until further testing is completed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA).

“Because the disease is not curable, the affected horse has been euthanized. The remaining horses on the facility will be observed and retested in 60 days.

“The disease is most commonly spread by biting flies and it is very early in Colorado’s fly season; therefore, the risk of disease transmission to other horses at this time is relatively low,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.

Equine Infectious Anemia is a viral disease spread by bloodsucking insects, inappropriate use of needles, or other equipment used between susceptible equine animals such as horses, mules and donkeys.

Horses may not appear to have any symptoms of the disease, although it also can cause high fever, weakness, weight loss, an enlarged spleen, anemia, weak pulse and even death.

It is spread most commonly through blood by biting flies such as horse flies and deer flies. There is no cure for the disease, so infected animals have to be quarantined for life or euthanized.

The disease can only be spread to horses, mules and donkeys. here has only been a small number of cases in the United States, although the disease exists in other parts of the world.

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