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        Protect your Horse from EIA
Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a potentially fatal disease that threatens the world’s horse,
donkey and mule populations. The virus that causes EIA reproduces in the white blood cells that
circulate throughout the body. The immune system, via antibodies, may attack and destroy red
blood cells, leading to anemia. Infected horses may die from the direct effects of the virus or
from secondary infections. Despite testing and measures to eradicate the equine infectious
anemia virus, EIAV, more than 500 new cases are identified each year in the U.S.
There is no cure for EIA. Although most horses show no symptoms, they remain
contagious for life, endangering the health of other horses. For this reason, the United States
Department of Agriculture and state animal health regulatory agencies require euthanasia or
strict lifelong quarantine for horses testing positive for EIA.
Your horse’s only protection against EIA is prevention. Good management practices can
reduce the potential of infection. The following guidelines from the American Association of
Equine Practitioners (AAEP) will help:
• Use disposable needles and syringes, one per horse, when administering vaccines and
• Sterilize dental tools and other instruments before using them on another horse.
• Test all horses for EIA at least annually.
• Test horses at the time of purchase examination.
• Stable owners, horse show and event managers should require and verify current negative
Coggins certificates for all horses entering the premises.
• New horses should be quarantined for 45 days and observed for any signs of illness,
including elevated temperatures, before introducing them to the herd. They should be
retested if exposure to EIA is suspected at a 45-day interval.
• All stable areas should be kept clean, dry and waste-free. Good pasture management
techniques should also be practiced. Remove manure and provide adequate drainage to
discourage breeding sites for pests.
• Horses at greater risk, such as those in frequent contact with outside horses or who live or
travel in geographic regions known for EIA outbreaks, should be tested more frequently,
every 4 – 6 months.
For more information about EIA, ask your equine veterinarian for “Equine Infectious
Anemia: The Only Protection if Prevention,” a brochure provided by the AAEP in conjunction
with Educational Partner Bayer Animal Health. Additional information can be found on the
AAEP’s website www.aaep.org/horseowner.
Reprinted with permission from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

10 Tips for Reducing Your Horse’s West Nile Risk
Since first being recognized in the United States in 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) has posed
a serious threat to horses and humans alike. In the equine population, the virus is transmitted
when a mosquito takes a blood meal from a bird infected with WNV, then feeds on a horse. While
many horses exposed to WNV experience no signs of illness, the virus can cause inflammation of
the brain and spinal cord. In some cases, especially in older horses, WNV can be fatal.
As a horse owner, prevention is the key to reducing your horse’s risk of contracting WNV.
Follow these guidelines from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to protect
your horse against WNV:
1. Consider vaccinating your horse against the disease. In February 2003, a vaccine was
licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Center for Veterinary Biologics
for use in healthy horses as an aid in the prevention of the disease. Talk with your
veterinarian about the most appropriate vaccination schedule for your horse.
2. Eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites. Dispose of old receptacles, tires and
containers and eliminate areas of standing water.
3. Thoroughly clean livestock watering troughs at least monthly.
4. Use larvicides to control mosquito populations when it is not possible to eliminate
particular breeding sites. Such action should only be taken, however, in consultation with
your local mosquito control authority.
5. Keep your horse indoors during the peak mosquito activity periods of dusk to dawn.
6. Screen stalls if possible or at least install fans over your horse to help deter mosquitoes.
7. Avoid turning on lights inside the stable during the evening or overnight.
8. Using insect repellants on your horse that are designed to repel mosquitoes can help reduce
the chance of being bitten.
9. Remove any birds, including chickens, located in or close to a stable.
10. Don’t forget to protect yourself as well. When outdoors in the evening, wear clothing that
covers your skin and apply plenty of mosquito repellent.
For more information about the virus, ask your equine veterinarian for the “West Nile
Virus” brochure, produced by the AAEP in conjunction with Bayer Animal Health, an AAEP
Educational Partner. Additional information about WNV can be found on the AAEP’s website at
Reprinted with permission from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.   

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