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Carroll County horse euthanized after testing positive for viral disease

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Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 2:06 PM EDT
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CARROLL COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ/VA Department of Agriculture Release) - The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Veterinary Services has confirmed one positive case of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) in a quarter horse at a private farm in Carroll County. This is the first confirmed case of EIA in Virginia in several years, according to agriculture officials.

A Coggins test was performed on the horse by an accredited veterinarian during routine regulatory testing at an auction, according to state agriculture officials. As a result of the positive test, the horse has been euthanized. No clinical signs of disease were noted in the euthanized horse at the time of sampling.

No other horses live on the farm, and an investigation is ongoing to determine the origin of the horse’s infection.

EIA is a viral disease of horses, spread through biting insects. Horses that become infected may show signs of fever, anemia, depression, and weakness. Once infected, the horse will become a lifelong carrier and serves as a reservoir for the disease, putting other horses at risk.

The Coggins test detects antibodies in the blood. All horses are required to have an annual Coggins test in Virginia if they are sold, cross state lines or are comingled with horses belonging to a different owner.

The State Veterinarian’s Office encourages all owners to have a Coggins test performed on their horses annually, even if they do not leave the farm. Horse owners should keep the Coggins test documents available when traveling with horses, according to state officials, who say horse owners should contact their private veterinarians for testing.

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