Recognition of Equine Infectious Anemia

Running a Coggins test or ELISA test on blood can quickly rule EIA in or out.

Credit: Amy Dragoo Blood testing for EIA is critical to diagnosis. undefined

While EIA is an uncommon occurrence, it is becoming somewhat more prevalent in racing Quarter Horses and bush-track racehorses. There also have been cases springing up across North America.

At the 2017 North American Veterinary Conference, Erin Groover, DVM, DACVIM, presented a case study on a horse with EIA. She reported that possible clinical signs that lend suspicion to an EIA infection include:

  • hemolytic anemia 
  • icterus
  • fever
  • lethargy
  • weight loss
  • etechial hemorrhage
  • distal limb edema
  • pale mucous membranes
  • inappetance

These clinical signs could be attributed to a variety of differential diagnoses: purpura hemorrhagica, autoimmune disorders, equine viral arteritis virus, neoplasia, liver disease or internal abscesses. 

Running a Coggins test or ELISA test on blood can quickly rule EIA in or out. 

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