Colorado horses quarantined after Equine Infectious Anemia investigation

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After a horse in Weld County tested positive for a horse disease, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office is continuing their investigation. 

In late August, a horse tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). The Colorado Department of Agriculture defines EIA as:

Equine Infectious Anemia is a viral disease spread by bloodsucking insects, inappropriate use of needles, or other equipment used between susceptible equine animals such as horses, mules and donkeys. Horses may not appear to have any symptoms of the disease, although it also can cause high fever, weakness, weight loss, an enlarged spleen, anemia, weak pulse and even death.

With the help of records from CDA’s Brands Division and Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory, the State Veterinarian’s Office has determined that approximately 240 horses have been on the quarantined premises during the same time as the index positive animal.

“We are working to locate approximately 140 horses that went to different premises across Colorado.  We are asking horse owners to contact us if they purchased horses in Weld County between July 18 to August 20, 2018,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. “We will work with owners to see if their horses came from the quarantined property.  This is an important step in the disease investigation.”

So far, the investigation has resulted in:

  • The index premises in Weld County is under a quarantine order; two associated premises are also under hold orders. There is no cure or treatment for EIA.  Therefore, horse that tested positive in the index case has been euthanized.
  • Fifteen premises are under hold orders in nine Colorado counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Crowley, Delta, Douglas, El Paso, Mesa, Montrose, and Weld. 
  • Thirty-seven exposed horses have been located in Colorado.

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