One local horse remains quarantined due to potential exposure to lethal disease

(Riverton, Wyo.) Some Fremont County horses were quarantined earlier this fall due to their potential exposure to equine infectious anemia (EIA), the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reported in September. The horses were potentially exposed to a horse illegally transported from Colorado to an event in Rock Springs and by horses who came into contact with that horse in Colorado.

“The Wyoming Livestock Board originally quarantined seven premises as a result of horses being exposed from another horse that was found to be positive for EIA,” according to an EDCC news release.

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Wyoming State Veterinarian Dr. Jim Logan of Riverton, said one horse from Fremont County is still in quarantine. “Locally we’ve got one animal quarantined until hopefully a negative test is done at end of October. We’ve already had 60 head of horses in various places around the state that were exposed and have now tested negative,” he said.

Logan said the disease was traced to a horse that showed up positive in Colorado, and some of the Wyoming horses in quarantine were exposed in in that state, and horses in Sweetwater County were exposed when that horse was illegally brought into the state to an event in Rock Springs. “We sent that horse home and let Colorado deal with it,” he said. “Of all the exposed horses, no infections have occurred that we know of. We hope next text will be negative.”

Logan said that with the onset of cooler weather, there are now fewer horse and deer flies around. He the EIA disease is spread primarily by those biting insects. “The chances of infection are now slim, but we have to do our due diligence.”

Riverton Veterinarian Dr. Amy Stockton told County10.com that a Coggins test screens horses’ blood for antibodies that could indicate the presence of EIA. She said she does not know of any local horse owners who do not have their horses tested before traveling to another area. “It’s just what you do,” she said.

According to the Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) EIA is identified as an infectious and potentially fatal viral disease of horses. No vaccine or treatment exists for the disease. Clinical signs of EIA include fever, weight loss, icterus (yellowing of body tissues), anemia, swelling in the limbs, and weakness. However, not all equids infected with the equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) show signs of illness, and these animals serve as inapparent carriers.

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