Equine Canada’s Health and Welfare Committee would like to remind Canadian horse owners that Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a potentially fatal viral disease that is constantly present, to some degree, in the Canadian equine population. All individuals involved in the Canadian horse industry should be vigilant about monitoring and testing for EIA, commonly referred to as “swamp fever.”
At this time there is no cure for EIA, nor is there a vaccine that will prevent an animal from becoming infected. However, the EIA test is consistently reliable in detecting the presence of antibodies regardless of whether the infection is acute, chronic or unapparent. Horses should be tested whenever there is potential for them to be cohabitating and intermingling with other horses. This includes, but is not limited to, boarding and breeding stables, race tracks, horse shows and other events where horses come together for competitive or recreational purposes.
Equine Canada strongly recommends that all horse owners have their horses tested regularly for EIA. Proof of a negative EIA test is an entry requirement for many competitions, and other activities involving the movement and co-mingling of horses including border crossings.
For more information and data on the number of cases in your province or region, please refer to the following links on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) web site. Contact your veterinarian for advice on how to best protect your horse(s) against EIA.