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Category: Equine Health

What is EIA?

As news of a Montgomery County horse testing positive for EIA has been circulating this week, a lot of Equiery readers have been posting questions as to what the virus is, how a horse becomes infected and how they may or may not be treated. We hope we are able to answer a few of your questions here. Please note, as of this morning (July 13), the case in Montgomery County is still under investigation and no new information has been released from the Maryland Department of Agriculture. All neighboring farms have been notified by MDA and the case farm will remain in quarantine until the 60-day hold period is lifted, as long as no other horses on the farm test positive during the hold period. The horse infected was euthanized earlier this week. In addition, according to Jason Schellhardt of the MDA Public Health Office, the origin of the virus in the infected horse is under investigation. “This virus is very rare for our area and is more common along the Gulf Coast. We are currently investigating where the horse could have been infected.” Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a blood borne virus, typically transferred by biting flies or infected needles that effects horses, donkeys and mules. EIA is closely related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but is not known to effect human health. The disease is...

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Montgomery Co Horse Tests Positive for Equine Infectious Anemia

Just in from the Maryland Department of Agriculture: A horse stabled in Montgomery County has tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). The positive horse was discovered during a routine wellness examination by a private veterinarian and was confirmed positive July 9 by the National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa. The infected horse will be euthanized. EIA is not known to effect human health. The State Veterinarian’s office has placed the farm under a 60-day investigational hold order. The department will do initial EIA tests on the remaining 42 equines on the farm. The animals will be tested again after 60 days, at which point the hold order will be released barring any positive test results. Equine Infectious Anemia is a blood borne virus typically transferred by biting flies or infected needles. The infected horse did not display any clinical symptoms, but was determined to be in the carrier stage of the disease. Confirmed cases of EIA typically result in euthanasia or lifetime isolation for the infected horse. The department’s Animal Health Program will continue to monitor the situation closely, and reminds all horse owners to remain vigilant in protecting the health of their animals—this includes routine disease testing. More information on EIA is available from USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection...

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Critical Mare and Foal Care

with Krista Estell, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM – Clinical Assistant Professor of Equine Medicine Foaling season is the most highly anticipated time of the year for professional horsemen and backyard breeders alike! In most cases, foaling is a joyous event that goes as expected, however, foaling can quickly turn problematic and both the mare and the foal can be at risk. Risk factors can be detected by comprehensive examination of the mare and fetus including ultrasonography, ECG, and blood tests. For high-risk pregnancies, including mares subject to placentitis, post-partum hemorrhage, dystocia, or foal complications such as neonatal dysmaturity or septicemia,...

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EHV-1 Reported in Maryland

This past weekend, several reports citing that the Maryland Department of Agriculture placed three Maryland farms on hold due to exposure to equine herpesvirus-1 were circulating on social media. Horses from three farms, located in St. Mary’s County, Calvert County, and Montgomery County, attended a show in Virginia the weekend of February 24-25, where the exposure to EHV-1 occurred. According to the Maryland State Veterinarian Dr. Michael Radebaugh, “as of this morning no horses at the Calvert and St. Mary’s County locations have shown any signs of EHV-1.” Dr. Radebaugh stated that, “as long as everything continues in the right direction, both farms will have their hold orders removed this weekend.” The Montgomery County farm has one horse with a fever that tested positive for the wild strain of EHV-1, but according to Dr. Radebaugh is not currently showing any neurological symptoms. The hold order on the Montgomery County farm has been extended. As more information is provided by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, The Equiery will keep you...

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Snotty Nose? CTs are a game changer for dental and sinus diagnostics

with James A. Brown, BVSc, MS, Diplomate ACT, Diplomate ACVS, Clinical Assistant Professor of Equine Surgery Nasal discharge in horses can be both alarming and frustrating. Pus coming from both nostrils can indicate guttural pouch or lower airway infection, whereas smelly pus coming from one nostril is commonly associated with sinusitis and dental infection related sinusitis. It is important to have a veterinarian exam the horse quickly to determine the cause and to insure there is not a contagious situation such as strangles, which can impact an entire barn. During the exam, a veterinarian will do a palpation of the head for swelling, an oral exam and perhaps an upper airway endoscopy. The vet may also assess the surface of the teeth for abnormalities such as fractures, caries of the infundibulum, and open pulp chambers, which can be accompanied by infection. Despite a thorough exam, sometimes the reason for sinusitis may not be evident and imaging of the head will be the most expeditious means for accurate diagnosis. The complex nature of the horse’s sinus compartments, combined with opacity (whiteness) from fluid, often make radiographs difficult to interpret. Without a diagnosis, horses are often treated with antibiotics and lavage of the sinus compartments. Resolution of symptoms sometimes occurs but in many cases, after treatment is discontinued the problem returns, which can be frustrating. For such horses with sinusitis or...

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MHC Awarded Grant to Launch new Maryland Equine Transition Service

Maryland Horse Council Awarded Grant to Launch the Maryland Equine Transition Service Innovative Safety-Net Solution For Maryland Horses from the Maryland Horse Council The Maryland Horse Council (MHC) announced receipt on January 30 of a $750,000 grant to launch a first-in-the-nation project to facilitate the responsible transition of horses whose owners are no longer able to care for them. MHC was the first state horse council in the country to support a federal ban on export of horses for human consumption, and its members from every sector of the horse industry came together to develop an alternative. The program...

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