A second case of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) has now been confirmed in Gallatin County, Montana. EIA is a potentially fatal viral disease of horses spread by biting insects or shared needles. No vaccine or treatment exists for the disease.
The Montana Department of Livestock is investigating the source of the two current cases, acknowledging that it is very early in the insect season. Dr. Marty Zaluski spoke with us about the ongoing investigation.
He told us it is still too early to determine if the horses were infected in Montana.
The owner of the infected horses has few options. Those include euthanasia or a lifetime quarantine with a minimum of 200 yards distance between the quarantined animal and other horses. Infected animals can also be used for research. Some scientists believe such research would contribute to a better understanding of retroviruses such as EIA, AIDS and HIV.
Dr. Zaluski’s advice to horse owners in the area is to get your horses blood tested for EIA if you have any suspicions or want peace of mind. He emphasized that the transmission of this disease is sporadic and that this is not an emergency for the general horse-owning public.
For information on the first positive case, see “Equine Infections Anemia Found in SW MT.”
More information can also be obtained from theMontana Department of Livestock.
© Northern Ag Network 2010