The Georgia Department of Agriculture’s (GDA) Animal Industry Division has confirmed three positive cases of equine infectious anemia (EIA) in Quarter Horses at a Paulding County facility.
In compliance with federal guidelines and protocols, the affected horses were humanely euthanized. There is no cure or vaccine for EIA. The remainder of the horses at the facility are under quarantine pending follow-up testing in 60 days.
“With no cure, the most appropriate course of action is to euthanize the affected horses,” said State Veterinarian Robert Cobb. “The quality of life for these animals decreases dramatically; without humane euthanasia, there would be a prolonged struggle against this terminal illness.”
This blood-borne disease is transmissible to all equids, including horses, donkeys, mules and zebras. EIA can be transmitted through biting flies and shared equipment. Disease symptoms can vary widely and include weight loss, weakness, anemia and swelling of legs, chest and abdomen. The disease is not transmissible to humans or other pets.
EIA is most common in the Quarter Horse racing industry. Georgia Department of Agriculture officials are working to better communicate to those involved in the industry best practices regarding prevention of the disease and symptoms of EIA.
For more information on equine infectious anemia, please visit agr.georgia.gov/2019-animal-health-news.aspx.