Archived Outdoors

Equine disease suspected

A horse in Henderson County has been tested for suspected equine infectious anemia shortly after a horse in Surry County was found positive for the disease. 

There are no direct epidemiological links between the cases at this time. However, both cases have been associated with recent sales of racing horses. These are the first new and suspected cases of EIA documented in North Carolina since August 2017. Both facilities are under quarantine, with remaining equines to be observed and retested in 60 days. Neighboring facilities are being monitored. 

EIA is an incurable disease commonly spread by biting flies and ticks or shared medical equipment between equines, such as horses, mules and donkeys. Clinical signs of EIA include fever, weakness, weight loss, anemia, edema and death. However, affected animals may not show symptoms but still carry the disease. EIA does not affect people. 

Regular testing before crossing state lines or participating in an exhibition helps control it. 

Equine owners who have concerns about their animal’s health should contact their local veterinarian. For more information about EIA or other reportable animal diseases call the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Division at 919.707.3250.

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