CARROLL COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Wednesday the first case of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) in Virginia in several years after a quarter horse at a private farm in Carroll County tested positive for the disease.
According to the department’s statement on Wednesday, Oct. 27, an accredited veterinarian performed a Coggins test was performed on the horse during routine regulatory testing at an auction.
Because the horse tested positive for EIA, the horse has reportedly been euthanized.
Officials say no other horses live on the farm and that there were no clinical signs of disease in the euthanized horse at the time of sampling.
The department says an investigation is underway to determine the origin of the horse’s infection.
“EIA is a viral disease of horses that is spread through biting insects. Horses that become infected may show signs of fever, anemia, depression, and weakness. Once infected, the horse will become a lifelong carrier and serves as a reservoir for the disease, putting other horses at risk,” the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in Wednesday’s statement.
According to officials, all horses are required to have an annual Coggins test — which detects antibodies in the blood — in Virginia if they are sold, cross state lines, or gather with horses belonging to a different owner.
The State Veterinarian’s Office encourages all horse owners to have an annual Coggins test performed on their horses by a private veterinarian, even if the horses do not leave the farm. In addition, owners should keep the Coggins test documents are available when traveling with horses.
You can learn more about EIA by following this link.