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Press Releases

October 27, 2021
Virginia Horse Test Positive for Equine Infectious Anemia
Contact: Michael Wallace

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Veterinary Services has confirmed one positive case of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) in a quarter horse at a private farm in Carroll County. This is the first confirmed case of EIA in Virginia in several years.

A Coggins test was performed on the horse by an accredited veterinarian during routine regulatory testing at an auction. As a result of the positive test, the horse has been euthanized. No clinical signs of disease were noted in the euthanized horse at the time of sampling. No other horses reside on the farm. An investigation is ongoing 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 serve as a reservoir for the disease, putting other horses at risk.

The Coggins test detects antibodies in the blood. All horses are required to have an annual Coggins test in Virginia if they are sold, cross state lines or are comingled with horses belonging to a different owner.

The State Veterinarian’s Office encourages all owners to have a Coggins test performed on their horses annually, even if they do not leave the farm. Horse owners should keep the Coggins test documents are available when traveling with horses. Contact your private veterinarian for testing.

More information can be found at https://equinediseasecc.org/disease-information.

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