Cases of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) have been confirmed recently at farms in Athabasca County, AB (1), Fraser-Fort George, BC (1) and Parkland County, AB (1).
In the first instance, the horse had commingled with infected animals during the previous summer, although it was not displaying clinical signs of disease when tested by the veterinarian. There are several other equines on the affected premises.
In the second case, the horse had been exhibiting clinical signs compatible with EIA infection and was tested by an accredited veterinarian at the owner’s request. This horse was acquired in the last 1.5 years from the packhorse/guiding industry which has experienced EIA cases in the past. The third case had also been exhibiting clinical signs of disease.
In all above cases, quarantine has been established and movement controls have been placed on the infected horses and any on-premises contact animals, which will remain until all disease response activities have been completed, including follow-up testing and ordering the destruction of confirmed cases. Horses infected with EIA become lifelong carriers and pose a risk of infection to other horses, therefore management options are euthanasia or lifetime quarantine. Improved biosecurity protocols have been strongly recommended to the owners to help control the ongoing spread of EIA and protect the national herd.
In Edmonton, AB, multiple cases of Equine Influenza at a Standardbred racetrack have been reported, with a number of unvaccinated animals developing fevers (103-105°F) followed by nasal discharge and deep barking coughs. A few have developed mild cases of pneumonia. Affected horses are receiving supportive treatment and strict biosecurity measures are in place. Horse Racing Alberta, Alberta Standardbred Horse Association and the Century Mile Race Office have cancelled a number of racing dates at the track in response to prevent additional spread of the disease.