Oregon Equine



Equine Infectious Anemia(EIA)
Notice from the State Veterinarian
Late this afternoon, the state veterinarian sent out the following accurate information on the resent EIA cases.

On Monday, October 5, the Washington Department of Agriculture (WSDA) informed me of an Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) positive Quarter Horse (QH) they had recently detected in WA.  The horse was located at the Emerald Downs racetrack near Auburn, WA.   The owner had a routine Coggins test conducted and the horse was positive on both ELISA and AGID.   A positive on both ELISA and AGID meets the case definition for a positive EIA infection.  (The tests were confirmed by NVSL).  In addition to the positive horse, the horse’s owner had two other QH at Emerald Downs over the weekend.  Those two direct contact horses were transported to the Portland Meadows for racing before movement restrictions were implemented.  We contacted Portland Meadows’ officials immediately after we learned the details of the issue.  The two direct contact horses were located and quarantined.  Unfortunately, one direct contact horse had already competed in a race and the other had contact with other horses.  Risk assessments were conducted and a group of potentially exposed horses were identified. Appropriate follow-up testing will be conducted.  

Blood samples were taken from the both direct contact horses and submitted to NVSL for expedited testing.  We received confirmation from NVSL this afternoon that the two direct contact horses were EIA positive.  The owner of the EIA positive horses has been very cooperative throughout this ordeal.  The owner elected to humanely euthanize the horses.  All three horses (the one in WA and the two in OR) have been euthanized and carcasses removed.  The quarantine at Portland Meadows has been lifted.

I would like to send along my sincere thanks to WSDA, USDA, ODA staff and the many private horse owners and veterinarians involved in the disease control response for their cooperation and assistance.  A special thanks is extended to the Portland Meadows Racing staff for their outstanding cooperation and professionalism. 

As a general comment, we know that EIA is no longer a common disease in the general horse population.  However, the question will come to veterinarians from their concerned horse owners as to whether they should be worried about EIA.  Please recall that there has been an increase in positive EIA cases in the Quarter Horse racing population.  California Department of Food and Agriculture has been investigating EIA cases for the past three years or so in their QH racing community.  Their disease investigations indicate the positive horses were potentially exposed to high-risk practices such as sharing needles and the use of contaminated blood products.  My concern is that many retired racehorses enter second careers as show horses, rodeo, backyard, trail or ranch horses.  An undetected EIA case from the higher risk racing community could lead to further infections in the non-racing population.  Just to be safe, all horse owners should be encouraged to establish good biosecurity practices such as avoid sharing needles and syringes among horses.  


EIA is a highly contagious virus.  Each cycle of the disease is associated  with the emergence of a new strain of the virus.   Transmission of EIA occurs mostly by insects such as horseflies and deerflies.  There is no cure or specific antiviral therapy for EIA.   Horses are either taken care of in a highly isolated environment or humanely euthanized.  


The Coggins test and C-Elisa are recognized by the USDA as valid and reliable for the diagnosis of EIA.   A negative Coggins test and a Certificat of Veterinary Inspecition (CVI) are required to move a horse across state lines.  This includes show horses coming and going to shows accross state lines or horses going trail riding across state lines.   Only an accretided veterinarian can pull blood for and submit a Coggins or C-Elisa test and fill out a CVI.


A good rule of thumb to have any horse you are purchasing tested prior to introducing the horse to your barn.  Additionally, any horse coming into a stable should have a negative Coggins and be isolated for 30 days prior to introduction to the barns general horse population.  The isolation is for observation for EIA and other contagious diseases.


Show horses and horses that travel to variety of equine events should be tested annualy





 I am now one month out from surgery and have started PT.  It will be a slow process but I  will be getting stronger to come back and help all of you with your horses.  

http://staticapp.icpsc.com/icp/loadimage.php/mogile/1244702/72e04f4697e147a27ec809a940838c58/image/jpegThank you again for your kind words and thoughts but most of all your patience.  


For now the best way to reach me is via email at oregonequine@gmail.com.  





Janine Wilson DVM, CAC






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