EIA, Swamp Fever, Equine Infectious Anemia
EIA is a virus carried from horse to horse by biting insects such as mosquitoes. There is also a slight risk it could be transmitted via un-sterilized needles and other medical equipment, from mare to nursing foal or ingested.
Symptoms include listlessness, elevated temperature, weakness, loss of coordination, and decline in overall health and vitality. The fever tends to spike than decrease, sometimes within a short time. Jaundice and fluid retention may develop. Small lesions may form on the tongue and other mucous membranes.
Symptoms may disappear so the horse seems to have recovered. However, the horse may remain a carrier. The only sure way to make a diagnoses is with a 'Coggins' blood test.
A Coggins test can identify possible carriers of the virus so that the individual can be appropriately dealt with. Insect control can help destroy the flies and mosquitoes that transmit the disease.
Horses who are found to be carriers must be kept in quarantine that makes it impossible for a carrier such as a mosquito to transfer it to another horse or the horse must be euthanized.